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 29

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1517 – Cardinal Carlo Carafa, (d.1561) who was born in Naples, was the younger son in a powerful noble family. He became a soldier and for seventeen years took part in the bloody wars which ravaged Italy, first on the side of the Habsburg imperial armies, afterwards with French troops.

His uncle, Gian Piero Carafa was elected pope, with the name of Paul IV, and made Carlo a cardinal in 1555.

Carlo Carafa had a long and dubious career as a mercenary soldier in Italy and Germany. He was exiled from Naples for murder and banditry and was alleged to have perpetrated the massacre of Spanish soldiers as they recuperated in a hospital in Corsica.

His tenure as Cardinal Nephew was not a great success as he and Paul IV brought the Papacy to a humiliating defeat against the Spanish that nearly resulted in another Sack of Rome. Carlo's government was unpopular in Rome and he developed a reputation for avarice, cruelty and licentiousness, as well as for sodomy.

For instance the cardinal Charles de Lorraine asked the French ambassador in Rome to report to the pope scandals concerning his nephews. In his letter he stated that the courtiers had been scandalized by what they had witnessed, "and among the culprits were openly numbered, those who were closest in blood relations to our Holy Father the pope" had engaged in "that sin so loathsome in which there is no longer a distinction between the male and the female sex." That is, sodomy.

These rumors cannot be explained away as political slander. Already the poet Joachim du Bellay who was then in Rome, wrote a sonnet mentioning one Ascanio as the beloved of Carlo Carafa.

At first the pope refused to believe the numerous and varied accusations, but he was finally convinced of their veracity. and replaced Carlo as Cardinal Nephew with Carlo's own nephew Alfonso Carafa.

With the death of Paul IV, who had already limited a part of his power, he was imprisoned and judged by the new pope, Pius IV , for a lengthy series of crimes ranging from homicide to heresy, which also included sodomy. Carlo was condemned and executed.


1905Edward Burra, a British illustrator and stage designer (d.1976), depicted the possibility of gay sexual encounters in his drawings and watercolors of the urban underworld.

He left school at thirteen because of a combined attack of anemia and rheumatic fever. Burra's parents worried that that their son was too sickly for a regular job and encouraged his artistic interests.

Burra was not openly gay, but he visited gay bars, had gay friends, and possessed a camp sensibility. He met the dancer and theatrical director William Chappell at Chelsea and the two were apparently lovers although they never lived together. Burra may also have been involved with artist Paul Nash in the 1920s.

Burra, from an upper-class family, had a fascination with the lower class and with the urban underworld. He loved to spend hours in sailors' cafes and brothels in Mediterranean port cities, especially in France. He visited New York in 1933-34, where he became fascinated with black culture and the Harlem scene.

Three Sailors in a Bar
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Typically featuring sailors, his early works portrayed clearly outlined and modeled forms and an absence of atmosphere. While Burra very rarely draws explicitly gay scenes or subjects, a homoeroticism pervades his work, perhaps because in his depictions of urban nightlife, sexual liaisons of various kinds are always a possibility.

Burra's most famous work, John Deth (1932), shows his interest in the bizarre. The painting depicts a party. The scythe-bearing Grim Reaper is in attendance, and he is striking down guests, much to the horror of one man who dips his partner in a dance at the moment that he recognizes the presence of Death. The faces and figures are distorted in a nightmare characterization typical of Burra's work.

Plagued by arthritis and poor health, Burra died on October 22, 1976 in Hastings, England.


McWhirter (L) with Mattison

1932 David McWhirter (d.2006), who co-authored of "The Male Couple" with his partner, Drew Mattison, was born in San Jose, California.

His education included a bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola University and a medical degree from the University of Southern California. He worked for several years as an associate clinical professor of psychiatry and served as medical director of the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital, where he is noted for his leadership in the turnaround of the facility in the late 1980s.

McWhirter, a board-certified psychiatrist and sexologist, served as medical director of the Clinical Institute for Human Relationships in San Diego. He also worked with the Kinsey Institute and was co-editor of Volume II of the Institute’s "Homosexuality/Heterosexuality: Concepts of Sexual Orientation" series.

McWhirter and his partner of 34 years, Dr. Andrew "Drew" Mattison, co-authored the bestseller in 1984 in order to find out how gay male couples lived.

According to The Male Couple's introduction: "We wanted to know how they handled work, chores, money, and their sexuality. We were interested in how they dealt with lovers, families, former wives, children, parents and friends."

The book notes that 156 male couples in San Diego were interviewed over a five-year span, and a number of more complex issues arose throughout the course of the study. This work was pulled together to create The Male Couple, which has been praised as a landmark contribution to the study of gay male relationships.

The book was later released in video format, and a follow-up video entitled Male Couples Facing AIDS came out in 1988.

Mattison, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2004, died in December. He was 57.

McWhirter died of a stroke in 2006


1936 – Today's the birth date of the English composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, CBE (d.2012). Born in Kent, he is renowned for his film scores and his jazz performance as much as for his challenging concert works. He was based in New York City from 1979 until his death there in 2012.

After the collapse of a long-term same-sex relationship, Bennett relocated to the U.S., using Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein as his referees for his green card application. Bennett thrived in the home of the Great American Songbook. He began performing in piano bars and has continued ever since, in recent years accompanying the jazz singer Claire Martin, most recently in a season at the legendary Algonquin hotel.

Bennett taught at the Royal Academy of Music between 1963 and 1965, and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, United States from 1970 to 1971, and was later International Chair of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music between 1994 and the year 2000. He received a CBE in 1977, and was knighted in 1998.

As one of Britain's most respected and versatile musicians, Bennett produced over two hundred works for the concert hall, and fifty scores for film and television, as well as having been a writer and performer of jazz songs for fifty years.

Among his best-known scores are the Doctor Who story The Aztecs (1964), Far from the Madding Crowd (1967), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Enchanted April (1992) and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).

In 1995, to celebrate its 200th issue, Gay Times magazine published a list of people regarded as important to the British Lesbian and Gay community. Bennett was named as one of the key musical figures on the list.


1940Travis L. Peterson, was a Texan social work leader and gay activist in San Antonio, Texas. (d.2015)

He was born in Lubbock County, Texas. He attended public schools at Cooper and Lazbuddie, Texas, elementary schools in Ranchvale and Clovis, New Mexico, graduating from Sudan, Texas, high school in 1958. He took pride in bragging rights to having been a long-term resident of the Muleshoe area (home of the National Memorial to the Mule — and to the mule's role in taming the West).

Travis graduated from Texas Tech University in 1964 with a bachelor degree in journalism, and from the Worden School of Social Service, Our Lady of the Lake University in 1968 with a Master of Social Work degree. He was employed in various social work positions in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, during a 43 year career. Practice settings included children's homes, psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health facilities and hospitals.

The University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work also employed him for four years as a professor of Social Work. However, most of his career was spent in the private practice of psychotherapy.

Following the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 elimination of homosexuality as a mental illness, Travis developed the first private practice of psychotherapy in Houston specializing in non-judgemental treatment of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered (GLBT) persons.

As a member of a small group of gay activists, Travis pioneered changes of the attitudes toward the GLBT community by the National Association of Social Workers and the Council on Social Work Education. He served two terms on NASW's National Committee on Gay Issues, and was co-editor of the organization's first publication on gay issues.


1946Bruce Weber is an American photographer and occasional filmmaker. If you have ever gazed longingly at the models in an ad for Calvin Klein underwear or Abercrombie & Fitch, you have probably been looking at the work of photographer, Bruce Weber.

Born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Weber became one of the most influential and successful fashion photographers of the 1980s and continues to be one of the world`s most successful commercial photographers.

Weber's fashion photography first appeared in the late 1970s in GQ magazine, where he had frequent cover photos. Soon known as a pioneer of modern male fashion and art photography, he came to the attention of the general public in the late 1980s and early 1990s with his advertising images for Calvin Klein. His straightforward black and white shots, featuring an unclothed heterosexual couple on a swing facing each other, two clothed men in bed, and model Marcus Schenkenberg barely holding jeans in front of himself in a shower, catapulted him into the international spotlight. His photograph for Calvin Klein of Olympic athlete Tom Hintnaus in white briefs is an iconic image.

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His nostalgic, usually black and white photography, which manages to be boldly erotic and yet somehow innnocent, played a major role in the resurgence of the male body in advertising - his influence is everywhere. He has changed the way we look at male beauty.

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In addition to his commercial work, Bruce Weber has produced several books of his photographs, often photographic essays, notably The Andy Book (1987) and Bear Pond (1991); made several films including a film about teenage boxers Broken Noses (1987), a documentary about jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, Let's Get Lost (1989) which was nominated for an Academy Award, and Chop Suey (2001). His work has also been widely exhibited in museums and galleries. He has additionally directed several music videos for the Pet Shop Boys.

"Laine and Kyle Carson"
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His work, and advertising for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch and others, somehow manages to balance an intense homoeroticism with an imagined ideal of all-American platonic male cameraderie. Gay men everywhere owe a debt to him.

1948Bud Cort, American actor, born; As a teenager Cort was a local portrait painting prodigy and began taking acting lessons. He was discovered in a revue by directorr Robert Altman, who subsequently cast him in two of his movies, M.A.S.H. and Brewster McCloud (in which he played the title role). Cort's most famous role, was as the suicide-obsessed Harold, in Harold and Maude with the inimitable Ruth Gordon. Though the film was not particularly successful at the time of its release, it gained international cult status and now is acclaimed as an American film classic.

On Broadway, Cort appeared in the short-lived 1972 play Wise Child by Simon Gray. He was invited to live with the famous comedian Groucho Marx in his Bel Air mansion and was present at Marx's death in 1977.

In 1979, Bud's life nearly ended in a near-fatal car accident on the Hollywood Freeway. From behind, he collided with an abandoned car blocking a lane into which he was turning. Years of plastic surgery, enormous hospital bills, a losing court case, and the disruption of his career ensued.

Since, Cort has appeared in various film, stage and TV roles: Endgame, He Who Gets Slapped, Sledge Hammer!, The Chocolate War, The Big Empty, Theodore Rex, Dogma, But I'm A Cheerleader, Pollock, Arrested Development, The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.. On the November 8, 2007 original episode of Ugly Betty, he made a guest appearance as the priest officiating at Wilhemina Slater's ill-fated wedding.

1953The Los Angeles Times accuses the Mattachine Society of "dangerously subversive activities." The Mattachine Society, founded in 1950, was one of the earliest LGBT (gay rights) organizations in the United States, probably second only to Chicago‘s Society for Human Rights. (see 1985 below)


1958Victor Salva is an American film director and convicted sex offender. He is best known for directing the films Powder and Jeepers Creepers.

Born in Martinez, California, Salva had written and directed over 20 short and feature films before graduating from high school. To finance his filmmaking hobby, he often held two jobs during the week. His biological father abandoned the family and Salva stated that his stepfather was often drunk and physically abusive.

Like a lot of children growing up in the East Bay town of Martinez in the early 1970s, the adolescent Salva was very much interested in horror and sci-fi. His favorite monster movie was Creature from the Black Lagoon. In 1975, the local newspaper reported that a child (Salva) had sat through Jaws a record 55 times. Salva was expelled from the family at eighteen when he acknowledged his homosexuality to his mother and stepfather.

Salva describes his films as "atmospheric and macabre, with no happy endings, but not to be taken totally seriously". In the mid-1980s, his 37-minute short film Something in the Basement (1986) took first place in the fiction category at the Sony/AFI Home Video Competition. A horror allegory about a young boy awaiting his brother's return from a bloody war, the highly acclaimed film went on to win several national awards (including a Bronze Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival) and brought Salva to the attention of Francis Ford Coppola, who then produced Salva's first theatrical feature, Clownhouse (1989), which Salva again wrote and directed.

In 1988, Salva was convicted of sexual misconduct with one of Clownhouse's underage stars – a 12-year-old boy – including videotaping one of the encounters. Commercial videotapes and magazines containing child pornography were also found at his home. Salva pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct, oral sex with a person under 14, and procuring a child for pornography. He was sentenced to three years in state prison, of which he served 15 months. He completed his parole in 1992.

Salva's career took a hiatus after his release – he did not make another film for five years. He worked as a telemarketer during the week and wrote scripts during the weekend, supposedly delivering them to well-known producers while posing as a delivery boy.

His next film, The Nature of the Beast (1995), which Salva wrote and directed, starred Lance Henriksen and Eric Roberts and quickly became New Line Cinema's biggest direct-to-video title of that year. Salva based the film's characters on people he met in prison. Salva next made his first big-studio picture, Powder (1995), the tale of an albino boy with special powers that make him an outcast.

He next made Rites of Passage (1999), a coming-of-age thriller. The film depicts a homophobic father who unwittingly pushes his gay son into the arms of a psychotic killer. In 2001, Salva wrote and directed Jeepers Creepers, which was one of the year's breakout hits and set a world record for largest Labor Day box-office ever. Salva followed this up with his sixth feature film, Jeepers Creepers II (2003), breaking his old record and setting another Labor Day milestone. His next film, Peaceful Warrior (2006), was an adaptation of Dan Millman's best-seller The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.


1966 – Today is the birthday of community health organizer Chris Bartlett. Born in Philadelphia, he is currently the Executive Director of the William Way LGBT Community Center. He was the lead consultant for the LGBT Community Assessment, a project funded by the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Foundation to collect and assess data about the LGBT community in Philadelphia.

In 2006, following the untimely death of Eric Rofes, Bartlett took over the management and direction of the Gay Men's Health Leadership Academy, sponsored by White Crane Institute. He also works with a group of 30 men and women in Philadelphia who have attended the Leadership Academy and are organizing a Gay men's health planning council in Philadelphia.

Bartlett, a former classics scholar has set out to rescue the memories of those lives lost to the AIDS epidemic, specifically 4,600 Gay Philadelphia men who perished of AIDS in the 1980s and '90s. While the memorializing impulse is ancient, the method Bartlett came up with is as new as the latest app; he created a social networking site for the dead.

Bartlett is also involved in special projects outside of the center such as the celebration of ancestors. Bartlett created a project, a website, where all gay men who died of AIDS are remembered. The loved ones of those who passed can tell the stories of their friends, family members, etc. He has created an on-line Wiki to document the deaths of gay men from AIDS between 1981 and the present. The site acts as an on-line AIDS quilt. (It is in the process of relocating.)


1967Michael Link, born in Hagen, Germany, is a German music manager and author. He is best known as the manager and partner of the pop singer Patrick Lindner.

After training as a hotel manager and a few years in the hotel business, Link met Patrick Lindner in 1992 and took over his management in January 1993.

Link and Lindner became a couple privately and professed their homosexuality. The media spoke of the nation's flagship gay couple. In 1998, his partner adopted Daniel, a Russian child, who was eight months old at the time, and thus became a pioneer in matters of gay relationships and children. Link wrote the book "Adoption Adventure or A Lifelong Dream Come True", with which he campaigned for more tolerance towards homosexuals and encouraged adoption. In 2005 the couple separated.

In 2001 he also published the children's book “Come on, I'll show you my parents”. He also played in various television series such as SOKO 5113 or Siska. Today Link works as a marketing expert and lives with his current partner in Munich.

Link married his 13 years younger partner in September 2015. The wedding was part of the television series 4 Weddings and a Dream Trip.


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1971Aaron Lawrence is an American gay pornographic actor, director, sex advice columnist, author and entrepreneur. After college Lawrence embarked on an unplanned male hustling career which he parlayed into both a writing and acting career. Lawrence, who is openly gay then started his own gay pornographic video company utilizing his international travels as an escort to shoot amateur pornography films. He has authored two books, Suburban Hustler: Stories of a Hi-Tech Callboy (1999), an account of his own experiences as a male escort and The Male Escort's Handbook: Your Guide to Getting Rich the Hard Way (2000), a "how-to" guide for those considering work as companions-for-hire. He has also written articles for several publications, including Anything That Moves and Unzipped.

After graduating from college Lawrence became depressed after a string of "100+ rejection letters", he became promiscuous and noting he was good at sex someone suggested he become a male hustler, which he did. He commanded an hourly rate of more than $350, which was much higher than average, which he attributed to his devotion to customer and self-satisfaction as well as his well-developed website, "By the time someone calls me for an appointment they already know who I am."

Lawrence worked in escorting from December 1993 to 2006. In addition to travel throughout the U.S., he traveled with clients on trips to Mexico and several locations in Europe, including Hungary, Germany, Ireland, and the Czech Republic.

Lawrence is versatile performing both top and bottom sex roles. Psychologist Todd G. Morrison notes that Lawrence came of age when being gay was seen as normal and HIV/AIDS was no longer defined culturally as a gay disease. In addition, in the mid-1990s the first AIDS "drug cocktails" marked a dramatic turning point in the pandemic so that a positive diagnosis was no longer considered a death sentence.[

Morrison notes the advent of the Internet for gay men to discover their sexuality and connect with each other online and that Lawrence is the embodiment of the "new experience of gay sexuality" much like Scott O'Hara, Tim Miller, and Wakefield Poole had been for their generations. Between his own work including promotions to advertise himself and his speaking and writing about the gay and bisexual escort industry Lawrence has helped revolutionize the public relation aspects.

He lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband Jeff whom he met in 1992, married in 1999, and who also helps provide illustrations for his various websites.


1974Kristoffer Cusick is an American actor of stage, television and film. He has performed in such musicals as Saturday Night Fever, Rent and Wicked. He is openly homosexual.

Cusick originated the role of Kenny as well as swing for the character Gus in the original Broadway cast of the musical Saturday Night Fever at the Minskoff Theater.Cusick was one of the original understudies for Fiyero in the hit 2003 musical Wicked. He performed the role of Fiyero on Broadway starting on November 25, 2003 and ending on December 22, 2003 while Norbert Leo Butz was on medical leave.

1979 – A California appellate court upholds the right of the state to prosecute consensual sexual relations of prisoners even though non-prisoners have the right to consensual sex.


1982Jay Brannan is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He was born in Texas on this date and briefly studied in Ohio, but moved to California to become an actor. Brannan appeared in the 2006 movie Shortbus, which included one of his songs in its soundtrack, and began to build a fan base by performing on YouTube. He released an EP and acted in Holding Trevor in 2007. Since then, he has toured and released two albums.

Brannan was born 1982 in Texas in a middle-class family and grew up as the son of a petroleum engineer and a teacher. He described his family as conservative Baptists and discussed their difficulty with accepting his homosexuality. Brannan went to Los Angeles, trying to become an actor. After the end of a relationship in 2002, he was shown a casting notice and moved to New York City and submitted an audition tape.

Brannan was cast in 2003 for the movie Shortbus, which featured him in an explicit sex scene, and worked as a proofreader and in other jobs to support himself. He contributed the song "Soda Shop" to the film's soundtrack, which he stated was his "first professionally recorded track". The song was also released on Team Love Records. Brannan began to record sparse music videos for YouTube, accompanying himself on the guitar, and built an international fan base without corporate sponsorship, using MySpace and Blogspot. In 2007, he appeared in the movie Holding Trevor as the promiscuous best friend of the protagonist, and released a limited-edition EP with fours songs named disasterpiece or Unmastered, adding two additional songs for a 2008 re-release.

In July 2008, Brannan released the album goddamned through his own label, Great Depression Records, and toured ten dates, a departure from his previous practice of short tours of about four concerts. The same year, Brannan left his proofreading job and sustained himself with earnings from concerts and merchandise. His second album, In Living Cover, was released in 2009 and reached number ten on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart for the week of July 25, 2009. Brannan promoted the album in an interview on ABC News's Now in July 2009.

1985The Los Angeles Times comes out in favor of gay rights and urges the U.S. Supreme Court to take a stand on more gay-related issues.


2009 – On this date Lieutenant Daniel Choi, publicly came out on the Rachel Maddow Show. Lieutenant Dan Choi is a United States Army combat veteran of the Iraq war who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2003 with degrees in Environmental Engineering and Arabic languages. With the three words "I AM GAY" Choi ended his military career . He received a letter from the U.S. Army informing him that he was being dismissed. It says, in part,

"This is to inform you that sufficient basis exists to initiate action for withdrawal of federal recognition in the Army National Guard for moral or professional dereliction. Specifically, you admitted publicly that you are a homosexual, which constitutes homosexual conduct. Your actions negatively affected the good order and discipline of the New York Army National Guard."

He recalls:
"When I got the letter, I was extremely angry. I was angry -- I mean, the letter is basically saying bottom line, Lieutenant Dan Choi, you're fired. You're a West Point graduate, you're fired. You're an Arabic linguist, you're fired. You deployed to Iraq, you're willing to deploy again, doesn't matter. Because you're Gay, that's enough grounds to kick you out. But the biggest thing that I'm angry about is what it says about my unit. It says that my unit suffered negative good order -- negative actions -- good order and discipline suffered. That's a big insult to my unit.

"I mean, all the insult that the letter can do, to say that I'm worthy of being fired, you know, that's nothing comparing to saying that my unit is not professional enough, that my unit does not deserve to have a leader that is willing to deploy, that has skills to contribute."

2014 – At the stroke of midnight, gay marriage became legal in England and Wales. Among the first to tie the knot were Peter McGraith (left) and David Cabreza, who have been partners for 17 years. They were married at Islington Town Hall in the presence of friends, campaigners, well-wishers, and gay activist, Peter Tatchell.

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Almost a year almost after Dan Choi publicly came out on the Rachel Maddow Show in 2009, he returned to speak about the previous year, the continuing fight against "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and his being handcuffed to the White House gates as a public protest. He spoke about the need to be honest and live for the truth of our lives. We reprint his comments here as a reminder that even though DADT has been officially revoked, our LGBT brothers and sisters who are serving in the military are still living in its shadow.

"What the soldiers really respect the most and what they demand of their leaders is not to be of a certain orientation or a certain race or of a certain religion. They want to see courage. They want to know that the leader can step up and speak the truth when it needs to be spoken. And I speak the truth for all these other people who cannot speak up for themselves. That's what they respect. So there's no negative impact. When people can be honest about themselves it's always a positive impact.

"I knew that when I was on that fence I was not alone. When I had those chains on me, on my waist and the fetters and shackles on my legs, for the first time I knew that on the outside it matched what was on the inside: having to live in the closet and to suffer through "Don't Ask Don't Tell." And I see so many stand up and say "You know what? I am somebody and I deserve full equality." And that's what we intend to fight for."

- Dan Choi

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