Table of Contents

CanadianGay
presents
THIS DAY IN GAY HISTORY
based on: The White Crane Institute's 'Gay Wisdom', Gay Birthdays, Gay For Today, Famous GLBT, glbt-Gay Encylopedia, Today in Gay History, Wikipedia, and more …

Collected by Ted

November 15

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1636 – A set of laws was enacted for the Plymouth Colony. Eight offences were deemed punishable by death, including sodomy.

 

1873Dr. Sara Josephine Baker, pioneering public health physician, born (d.1945); or Jo, as she preferred, was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1873 to a middle class Unitarian or Quaker family. When she was sixteen, her father and brother died from typhoid, which left her family with no means of support.

Early in her career, she had helped to twice catch Mary Mallon, also known as Typhoid Mary. Mary Mallon was the first known healthy carrier of typhoid who infected countless people through her job as a cook. Mallon was not the only repeat offender in being a typhus-contagious cook, but she was the only one put in isolation for the rest of her life. It may have been relevant that the other offenders were male, or that they were not of Irish heritage.

Josephine Baker was becoming famous, so much so that New York University Medical School asked her to lecture there on children's health, or 'child hygiene', as it was known at the time. Baker said she would if she could also enroll in the School. The School had to give in because there was no one else who could give the lectures. So in 1917 Baker graduated with a doctorate in public health.

After the United States entered WWI, Baker became even better known. Most of this publicity was generated from her comment to a NY Times reporter. She told him that it was safer to be on the front lines than to be born in the United States because the soldiers died at a rate of 4%, whereas babies died at a rate of 12%.

She was able to start a lunch program for school children due to the publicity this comment brought. Over the years of her career, she made intelligent use of the press to advance the goals she had for public health. She made use of the publicity around the high rate of young men being declared 4F (not eligible for draft due to poor health) as a motivating factor for support in her work on improving the health of children.

Josephine Baker was now known across the world. She was offered a job in London as health director of public schools, a job in France taking care of war refugees, and a job in the United States as Assistant Surgeon General. Baker became the first woman to hold a federal government position when she accepted the position as Assistant Surgeon General of the United States. In 1923 she retired, but she didn't stop working.

Josephine Baker became the first woman to be a professional representative to the League of Nations when she represented the United States in the Health Committee. Many government positions, departments, and committees were created because of her work including the Federal Children's Bureau and Public Health Services (now the Department of Health and Human Services) and child hygiene departments in every state. She was also active in many groups and societies including over twenty-five medical societies and the New York State Department of Health. She also became the President of the American Medical Women's Association and wrote 250 articles (both professional and for the popular press), 4 books, and her autobiography before her death in 1945.

Josephine Baker wrote very little about her personal life, however her partner for much of the later part of her life was Ida Alexa Ross Wylie, a novelist and essayist from England, and self-identified as a 'woman-oriented woman'. I.A.R. Wylie is best know for the novel "The Daughter of Brahma", and "Life with George", an autobiography. When Baker retired in 1923, she started to run their household while writing her autobiography.

In 1935, Baker and Wylie decided to move to Princeton, NJ, together with their friend Louise Pearce, M.D.. Pearce was a biological researcher at the Rockefeller Institute, working on animal models for trypanosoma (African sleeping sickness) and syphilis, and the testing of treatments. Pearce later became the President of the Women's Medical College of Philadelphia. While Baker and Pearce left little documentation of their personal lives, Wylie was open about her orientation. But she did not identify either Baker or Pearce in her writings. Wylie's papers, including some personal letters, were donated to the Women's Medical College of Philadelphia (now the Medical College of Philadelphia), where they are now available in the college's archives.

 

1919Paul Moore, Jr. (d.2003) was a bishop of the Episcopal Church and served as the 13th Bishop of New York from 1972 to 1989. During his lifetime, he was perhaps the best known Episcopal cleric in the United States, and among the best known of Christian clergy in any denomination.

Moore joined the Marine Corps in 1941. He was a highly decorated Marine Corps captain, a veteran of the Guadalcanal Campaign during World War II earning the Navy Cross, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart.

Returning home after the War, Moore was ordained in 1949 after graduating from the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Moore was named rector of Grace Church Van Vorst, an inner city parish in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he served from 1949 to 1957. There he began his career as a social activist, protesting inner city housing conditions and racial discrimination. He and his colleagues reinvigorated their inner city parish and were celebrated in the Church for their efforts.

In 1957, he was named Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, Indiana. Moore introduced the conservative Midwestern capital to social activism through his work in the inner city. Moore served in Indianapolis until he was elected Suffragan Bishop of Washington, D.C., in 1964.

During his time in Washington he became nationally known as an advocate of civil rights and an opponent of the Vietnam War. He knew Martin Luther King, Jr., and marched with him in Selma and elsewhere. In 1970, he was elected as coadjutor and successor to Bishop Horace Donegan in New York City. He was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of New York in 1972 and held that position until 1989.

Moore was widely known for his liberal activism. Throughout his career he spoke out against homelessness and racism. He was an effective advocate of the interests of cities, once calling the corporations abandoning New York "rats leaving a sinking ship". He was the first Episcopal bishop to ordain an openly homosexual woman as a priest in the church. In his book, Take a Bishop Like Me (1979), he defended his position by arguing that many priests were homosexuals but few had the courage to acknowledge it.

His first wife, Jenny McKean Moore died of colon cancer in 1973. Eighteen months later Moore married Brenda Hughes Eagle, a childless widow twenty two years his junior. She died of alcoholism in 1999. It was she who discovered his bisexual infidelity, around 1990, and made it known to his children, who kept the secret, as he had asked them to, until Honor Moore's revelations in 2008.

Honor Moore, the oldest of the Moore children and a bisexual, revealed that her father was himself bisexual with a history of gay affairs in a story she wrote about him in the March 3, 2008 issue of The New Yorker and in the book The Bishop's Daughter: A Memoir. In addition, she described a call she received six months after her father's death from a man, identified in the article by a pseudonym, who was the only person named in Moore's will who was unknown to the family. Honor Moore learned from the man that he had been her father's longtime gay lover and that they had traveled together to Patmos in Greece and elsewhere.

 Added 2021

 

1939Réal Lessard was born in Mansonville, Canada. He led a quiet life until he was eighteen years old. He he had always dreamed of traveling and becoming an artist.

Hitchhiking, he set out to conquer the world. In Miami, he met his fate: Fernand Legros. They began an uneven relationship. Legros occasionally accused Lessard of infidelity, although he himself slept with other men. An unscrupulous art dealer, Legros quickly discovered the innate talent of Réal Lessard who painted, without knowing it, in the manner of great Fauves fromturn of the century.

Promising an art show that would never happen, Legros sold Lessard's paintings, without the knowledge of the artist, as authentic Dufy, Matisse, Derain, Van Dongen, Modigliani and many others. He managed to get everyone in his pocket – experts, beneficiaries, and even widows of the painters. The world was awash with raw Réal Lessard.


Reál and Legros on the beach at Cannes

Lessard discovered the scam but dared not speak. It will not take long for the Association of Art Dealers of Americans to intervene and the affair would culminate in a trial. Real was cleared but he had to prove that thousands of paintings, dating from his first from his meeting with Legros, were from his brush.

1941 – Holocaust SS chief Heirich Himmler orders the arrest and deportation to concentration camps of all homosexuals in Germany, with the exception of certain top Nazi officials. He also announced a decree that any member of the Nazi SS or the police who had sex with another man would be put to death.

 

1952ONE, the official publication of the Mattachine Society, Articles of Incorporation signed in the Los Angeles law office of Eric Julber. In January 1953 ONE, Inc. began publishing ONE Magazine, the first U.S. pro-gay publication, and sold it openly on the streets of Los Angeles. In October 1954 the U.S. Post Office Department declared the magazine 'obscene'. ONE sued, and finally won in 1958, as part of the landmark First Amendment case, Roth v United States. The magazine continued until 1967.

ONE also published ONE Institute Quarterly (now the Journal of Homosexuality). It began to run symposia, and contributed greatly to scholarship on the subject of same-sex love (then called homophile studies').

ONE readily admitted women, and Joan Corbin (as Eve Elloree), Irma Wolf (as Ann Carrl Reid), Stella Rush (as Sten Russell), Helen Sandoz (as Helen Sanders), and Betty Perdue (as Geraldine Jackson) were vital to its early success. ONE and Mattachine in turn provided vital help to the Daughters of Bilitis in the launching of their newsletter The Ladder in 1956. The Daughters of Bilitis was the counterpart lesbian organization to the Mattachine Society, and the organizations worked together on some campaigns and ran lecture-series. Bilitis came under attack in the early 1970s for 'siding' with Mattachine and ONE, rather than with the new separatist feminists.

In 1965, ONE separated over irreconcilable differences between ONE's business manager Dorr Legg and ONE Magazine editor Don Slater. After a two-year court battle, Dorr Legg's faction retained the name "ONE, Inc." and Don Slater's faction retained most of the corporate library and archives.

1954 – Poet and Carl Sandburg Prize winner, Rane Ramón Arroyo born (d.2010); Arroyo was an American poet, playwright, and scholar of Puerto Rican heritage descent who wrote numerous books and received many literary awards. He was a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Toledo in Ohio. His work deals extensively with issues of immigration, Latino culture and homosexuality. Arroyo was out Gay and frequently wrote self-reflexive, autobiographical texts. He was the long-term partner of the American poet Glenn Sheldon.

He published ten books of poems, a book of short stories, and a collection of selected plays. Arroyo said: "No one is more surprised than I at being read in my lifetime." Arroyo's most recent books include "The Buried Sea: New & Selected Poems" , and "The Sky's Weight." "Midwest Challenge" was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize.

         The Umbrella

Class assignment: bring in an object
that tells your life story. Friends bought

a music box, a painting of a cowboy
being tamed by a mountain, a jeweled

Buddha, but I was poor and had to risk
being modest. Then I saw the broken

umbrella, turned it inside out and
exposed its ribs. There was a pun in it,

rain and Rane, but the teacher said, how
sad is your life? The other students

nodded for their grades, but I opened up
the umbrella, holding it by what was

left of the handle, and it blossomed
before the astonished class. Once again,

when dismissed, I made magic and I
got an A for seeing among the blind.

- Rane Ramón Arroyo

1961The Washington, D.C. chapter of the Mattachine Society is formed by activists Jack Nichols and Frank Kameny  who is elected president.

 Revised 2021

 

1966 – Born: Evan Adams (Evan Tlesla Àdams), a Canadian actor, playwright and medical doctor. A Coast Salish from the Sliammon First Nation near Powell River, British Columbia, he is best known internationally for his roles in the 1990 TV movie of Farley Mowat's novel, Lost in the Barrens and in the films of Sherman Alexie, as Thomas Builds-the-Fire in the 1998 film Smoke Signals and Seymour Polatkin in the 2002 film The Business of Fancydancing.

He won an Independent Spirit Award in 1999 for Best Debut Performance for his role in Smoke Signals, and a Los Angeles Outfest award in 2002 for his role in Fancydancing.

In Canada, Adams has acted primarily in television, including roles in The Beachcombers, Da Vinci's Inquest, Neon Rider, These Arms of Mine, Da Vinci's City Hall, The L Word, and Wolf Canyon, and stage roles in Lear and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. He also appeared in the documentary film Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the 70's Generation, speaking about his own experience as a young gay First Nations man growing up in Canada during the Trudeau era.

His plays, including Dreams of Sheep, Snapshots, Dirty Dog River and Janice's Christmas, have been produced across Canada and internationally.

Adams has also worked extensively with First Nations health programs in Canada, including HIV/AIDS education and alcohol and drug abuse treatment. In 2002, Adams completed a medical degree at the University of Calgary. He now practices family medicine in Vancouver, and serves as director of the Aboriginal Health program in the University of British Columbia's faculty of medicine.

In April 2007, Adams was appointed the first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor for the province of British Columbia.

Since 2014 Dr. Adams has been Chief Medical Officer with the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia; in this capacity he works closely with government partners on population and public health issues. He has been in the spotlight in this role since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in trying to convince indigenous people of the need for vaccination.

 

1967François Ozon is a French film director and screenwriter whose films are usually characterized by sharp satirical wit and a freewheeling view on human sexuality, particularly gay, bi, and lesbian sexuality. Ozon is himself openly gay.

He has achieved international acclaim for his films 8 femmes (2002) and Swimming Pool (2003). Ozon is considered to be one of the most important French film directors in the new “New Wave” in French cinema.

Ozon often features LGBT people in his films. Some examples include:

  • Une robe d'été: a young gay man strengthens his relationship with his boyfriend through a brief encounter with a woman.
  • Scènes de lit: this features a lesbian couple and a gay couple.
  • La petite mort: a gay man's relationship with his estranged father.
  • Sitcom: this spoof comedy has numerous lesbian and gay references. The family's son comes out, engages in sexual orgies and begins an affair with the maid's husband, a sports teacher. The maid, herself, finds out she's a lesbian and seems to have a relationship with the mother, who has tried to cure her son's homosexuality by sleeping with him - she, of course, fails.
  • Les amants criminels: the main male character is gay and in the closet; he kills his (male) object of desire out of jealousy and enjoys his relationship with an ogre-like man who's kidnapped him and his female friend who was, more or less, his beard.
  • Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes: the two male characters, Léopold and Franz, are lovers - they are either gay or bisexual, while Véra, a former boyfriend of Léopold's, is now an M2F transsexual/trans woman.
  • 8 femmes: one woman is lesbian and two others are bisexuals; the maid is ambiguous towards her female boss all the while she is her male boss's mistress. This film presents a lesbian kiss between Catherine Deneuve and Fanny Ardant. It's a gay cult movie in France.
  • 5x2: a happy gay couple is used to highlight the unhappiness of the heterosexual couple in the film.
  • Le temps qui reste: this deals with the end of life of a young gay man dying of cancer.
  • Le Refuge: this film explores the relationship between a homosexual man and the pregnant girlfriend of his deceased brother.

 

1974Todd Klinck, born in Windsor, Ontario, is a Canadian writer, nightclub owner and pornography producer.

Klinck moved to Toronto at age 18 to study theatre at York University, but dropped out to focus on his career. In 1996, his novel Tacones (High Heels) was the winner of the Three-Day Novel Contest, and was published by Anvil Press to strong reviews in the Toronto Star and Quill and Quire.

Klinck also collaborated with John Palmer and Jaie Laplante on the screenplay for the 2004 film Sugar, which garnered a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 25th Genie Awards, and he was a columnist for fab until 2005. He wrote an online only column for Xtra! called "Sex Play" in 2009, and a column called "Porndoggy" in the same publication for most of 2010. His writing has been published in the National Post, Saturday Night and Bil Bo K (Belgium).

Klinck and his business partner Mandy Goodhandy have launched several sex businesses in the Toronto area, including a transgender strip club, "The Lounge", an adult DVD production company, "Mayhem North", and a porn site, "Amateur Canadian Guys". In 2006 they opened a pansexual nightclub, "Goodhandy's", located in downtown Toronto. Klinck has also worked as a professional BDSM dominant, and has appeared on the television series KinK.

With Goodhandy, Klinck was chosen to be the Grand Marshall of the Pride Toronto 2010 parade.

1980Michael Harcourt, an alderman consistently supportive of the gay community, is elected mayor of Vancouver. An organization called Gay People to Elect Mike Harcourt campaigned actively in gay community. Harcourt would become NDP premier of British Columbia in 1991.

1989Massachusetts becomes the second U.S. state to pass a statewide gay rights law.

1992 – Thirty-five members of The Cathedral Project, a gay Roman Catholic group, demonstrated in New York City at St. Patrick's Cathedral to protest a Vatican directive urging bishops to oppose laws banning anti-gay bias.

1995 – The Florida Baptist state convention approved a resolution to encourage members to boycott the Walt Disney Co. because of the company's extension of domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian employees.

1999The Washington Times claims George W. Bush ensured conservative supporters that he would not knowingly appoint any homosexuals as ambassadors or department heads in his administration if elected president.

 Ted Nebbeling & Jan Holmberg

2003 – With same-sex marriage recognized by the courts, British Columbia cabinet minister Ted Nebbeling becomes Canada's first serving cabinet minister to legally marry Jan Holmberg, his same-sex partner of 32 years, one of the world's first same-sex weddings of a serving cabinet minister.

The day after his marriage was announced in the media, Nebbeling was dropped from cabinet in a shuffle. The government stated that the timing was coincidental and that there was no prejudicial motive behind this, as Nebbeling was openly gay at the time of his election. Nebbeling and Holmberg are both immigrants to Canada, Nebbeling from the Netherlands and Holmberg from Sweden.

2004 – New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey leaves office, three months after resigning due to a Gay extra-marital affair. State Senator Richard Codey takes over as interim governor. McGreevey has gone on to move in with a man and is studying in an Episcopal seminary.

2005 – The openly gay André Boisclair wins the leadership of the Parti Québécois in Quebec.

NOVEMBER 16 →

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