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

October 12

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Today is National Coming Out Day in the United Kingdom.

1774Adolph Jans van Oldeberkoop of Frisia Netherlands, a fifty year old customs officer, was convicted of seduction to sodomy and banished for two years.

 

1875 – On this date the English occultist and author Aleister Crowley was born (d.1947). Crowley is best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of The Law, the central sacred text of "Thelema," an initially fictional philosophy of life first described by Francois Rabelais (16th century) in his famous books, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Other interests and accomplishments were wide-ranging — he was a chess player, mountain climber, poet, painter, astrologer, hedonist, drug experimenter, and social critic. Crowley was a highly prolific writer, not only on the topic of Thelema and magick, but on philosophy, politics, and culture. He left behind a countless number of personal letters and daily journal entries. He self-published many of his books, expending the majority of his inheritance to disseminate his views.

Within the subject of occultism Crowley wrote widely, penning commentaries on magick, the Tarot, Yoga, Qabalah, astrology, and numerous other subjects. He also wrote a Thelemic interpolation of the Tao Te Ching, based on earlier English translations since he knew little or no Chinese. Like the Golden Dawn mystics before him, Crowley evidently sought to comprehend the entire human religious and mystical experience in a single philosophy.

Crowley gained wide notoriety during his lifetime, and was infamously dubbed "The Wickedest Man In the World." There is little wiggle room with Crowley. Either you consider him to be nuts, bonkers, loony, albeit brilliant, fascinating and perhaps a touch of con-man - or you are completely in his thrall. Much depends on how you feel about his central thesis: Do whatever you wish. No wonder he was so popular in the 1960s. Crowley also wrote fiction, including plays and later novels, most of which have not received significant notice outside of occult circles. In his The Book of Lies, the title to chapter 69 is given as "The Way to Succeed - and the Way to Suck Eggs!" a pun, as the chapter concerns the 69 sex position as a mystical act.

Largely despicable, and larger than life, the hashish-smoking, yoga-practicing, occult-preaching, self-described religious prophet probably would do even better today. The man knew how to cause a stir. To say he slept around is to practice understatement that borders on the naive. He was an outspoken racist, an anti-Semite, and sexist. To give the reader a sense of his contradictory and maddening character, Crowley, according to his biographer, Lawrence Sutin, used racial epithets and brutal verbal attacks to bully his Jewish lover Victor Neuburg. And while he slept with men, women, and virtually anything that moved, his background was distinctly pederastic. His writings reveal this nature with, for example, a poem beginning "I was bumming a boy in the black-out..." Known his whole life for a cutting wit, once, when a woman asked him which American college would be most suitable for her daughter he replied, "Radclyffe Hall."

 

1940Stathis Orphanos, photographer, writer, and publisher, is half of the famed publishing company of Sylvester & Ophanos, well-known for their beautiful, meticulously executed volumes. The other partner, in business and in life, is Ralph Sylvester. Among the authors and contributors to the books published by Sylvester & Orphanos are many gay writers, artists, and composers.

Stathis Orphanos was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, of Greek parents, both from the island of Samos. He was raised in Greece when trapped there by the outbreak of the civil war, which was fought between 1946 and 1949. He then attended Cheshire Academy, Connecticut, where he was exposed to same-sex romantic encounters.

In 1959 he attended Denison University, where he had his first serious same-sex affair. He then came to California and in the early 1960s attended California State College (now University), Los Angeles. Among his classes was one taught by Dorothy Parker. She praised both his photographs and his written sketches about Greece, but said, "You'll have to choose, honey, between photography and writing."

In an interview Orphanos has spoken of his sexual awakenings and attempted seduction at boarding school. With candor and humor he has discussed the different constructions of homosexuality as he has experienced them in Greece and the U.S. He has also noted the different practices in circumcision in the two countries and expressed his relief that Greek art depicts young men uncircumcised, as was he: "I have always sought intact males as my models. This is definitely an influence garnered from Greek art, particularly the vase paintings."

In his figure studies and male nudes, Orphanos prefers to photograph young straight men, who get less attention than gay men. He has observed, "Young men love to be photographed. Young men crave attention. When it is finally bestowed on them through the intensity of a photo shoot, they are almost mesmerized by it. This results in vulnerable, uninhibited moments where I am able to capture their rare male grace. This is true of the young man, the 'Greek Soldier.' "

This work might be called a nude portrait rather than a figure study. A young soldier is posed contre jour (i.e., against the light). He sits in a chair against the available natural light always used by Orphanos. The penis is awesome in its size, edged in a light that gives it volume and weight like sculpture. The face is kept from the light and is without contour in a shadow that flattens the features as in a Minoan profile.

Sylvester and Orphanos met in 1960 in Los Angeles, where they continue to live. They now reside below the Hollywood sign in the Beachwood Canyon area of the city and also own a home in San Marcos, California.

The Sylvester & Orphanos bookselling business specializes in modern first editions of writers whose works have particularly interested Orphanos. The publishing side of the Sylvester & Orphanos enterprise began with "Christopher and His Kind," the memoir by Christopher Isherwood and has continued with works by writers such as John Cheever, James Merrill, and Gore Vidal.

 

1942Arthur Evans (d.2011) was a gay rights advocate and author, most well known for his book Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture (1978).

When Evans graduated from public high school in 1960, he received a four-year scholarship from the Glatfelter Paper Company in York to study chemistry at Brown University. While at Brown, Evans and several friends founded the Brown Freethinkers Society, describing themselves as 'militant atheists' seeking to combat the harmful effects of organized religion.

The society picketed the weekly chapel services at Brown, then required of all students, and urged students to stand in silent protest against compulsory prayer. National news services picked up the story, which appeared in a local York newspaper.

As a result, the paper company informed Evans that his scholarship was cancelled. Evans contacted Joseph Lewis, the elderly millionaire who headed the national Freethinkers Society. Lewis threatened the paper company with a highly publicized lawsuit if the scholarship were revoked. The company relented, the scholarship continued, and Evans changed his major from chemistry to political science.

In 1963, Evans discovered gay life in Greenwich Village, and in 1964 became lovers with Arthur Bell who later became a columnist for The Village Voice. In 1966, Evans was admitted to City College of New York, which accepted all his credits from Brown University.

Evans participated in his first sit-in on 13 May 1966, when students occupied the administration building of City College in protest against the college's involvement in Selective Service. A picture of the students, including Evans, appeared the next day on the front page of The New York Times.

In November 1970, Robinson and Evans, along with Dick Leitsch of the Mattachine Society, appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, making them among the first openly gay activists to be prominently featured on a national TV program. In 1971, Evans and Bell separated. Bell died from complications of diabetes in 1984.

By the end of 1971, Evans had become alienated from urban life and the academic world. With a second lover, Jacob Schraeter, he left New York in April 1972 to seek a new, countercultural existence in the countryside.

Evans, Schraeter, and a third gay man formed a group called the 'Weird Sisters Partnership'. They bought a 40-acre spread of land on a mountain in Washington State, which they named New Sodom. Evans and Schraeter lived there in tents during summers.

During winter months in Seattle, Evans continued research that he had begun in New York on the underlying historical origins of the counterculture, particularly in regard to sex. In 1973, he began publishing some of his findings in the gay journal Out and later in Fag Rag. He also wrote a column on the political strategy of zapping for The Advocate, the gay newspaper.

In 1974, Evans and Schraeter moved into an apartment at the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets in San Francisco, in which Evans remained until he died. Schraeter returned to New York in 1981 and died from AIDS in 1989.

In the fall of the 1975, Evans formed a new pagan-inspired spiritual group in San Francisco, the Faery Circle. The Circle combined countercultural consciousness, gay sensibility, and ceremonial playfulness.

In early 1976, he gave a series of public lectures at 32 Page Street, an early San Francisco gay community center, entitled 'Faeries', on his research on the historical origins of the gay counterculture. In 1978 he published this material in his book Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture. It demonstrated that many of the people accused of 'witchcraft' and 'heresy' in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were actually persecuted because of their sexuality and ancient pagan practices.

In 1984 Evans directed a production at the Valencia Rose Cabaret in San Francisco of his own new translation, from ancient Greek, of the Euripides play The Bacchae. The hero of Euripides' play is the Greek god Dionysos, the patron of homosexuality. In 1988, this translation, with Evans' commentary on the historical significance of the play, was published by St. Martin's Press in under the name of The God of Ecstasy.

As AIDS began to spread in 1980s, Evans became active in several groups that later became ACT UP/SF. Evans was HIV-negative. With his close friend, the late Hank Wilson, Evans was arrested while demonstrating against pharmaceutical companies making AIDS drugs, accusing the companies of price-gouging.

Diagnosed in October 2010 with an aortic aneurysm, Evans died in his Haight-Ashbury apartment of a massive heart attack on 11 September 2011.

 


Minnie Pratt and Leslie Feinberg

1946 – Today's the birthday of U.S. educator, activist, and award-winning poet, essayist, and theorist Minnie Bruce Pratt. Pratt was born in Selma, Alabama, grew up in Centreville, Alabama and graduated with honors from the University of Alabama and received a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of North Carolina. She is a Professor of Writing and Women's Studies at Syracuse University where she was invited to help develop the university's first Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Study Program.

She emerged out of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s and 1980s and has written extensively about race, class, gender and sexual theory. Pratt, along with Lesbian writers Chrystos and Audre Lorde, received a Lillian Hellman-Dashiell Hammett award from the Fund for Free Expression, an award given to writers "who have been victimized by political persecution." Pratt, Chrystos and Lorde were chosen because their experience as "a target of right-wing and fundamentalist forces during the recent attacks on the National Endowment for the Arts." Her political affiliations include the International Action Center, the National Women's Fightback Network, and the National Writers Union. She is a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper. Pratt's partner is author and activist Leslie Feinberg.

 

Kristen Borg Click for full Monty

1957Kristen Bjorn, born in London, England, is the stage name of a British director and producer of gay pornographic movies and a former gay pornographic actor. He is the son of a Russian mother and a British father. He was raised in Washington, D.C., where his father was stationed as a diplomat. He has a brother and two sisters. In an interview conducted in 1997, Bjorn stated that only one of his sisters knows his profession as a maker of gay erotic films.

After graduating from high school, Bjorn set out to travel widely, to places including Asia, India, and Europe. His career goal at the time was to be "a photographer for a magazine like National Geographic. I wanted to travel across the world and photograph people. I was really very interested in different cultures."

Bjorn arrived in San Francisco in 1978, where he encountered the gay community for the first time. "[I]t was all very strange to me." Encouraged by the ideal of male beauty that he found in gay erotic magazines, Bjorn took up working out and paying attention to his own physique. Around 1980, he was photographed by Fred Bisonnes for Mandate magazine. This was followed by two appearances in Falcon videos: Biker's Liberty and The New Breed. Falcon chose the pseudonym Kristen Bjorn for him due to his resemblance to the Swedish tennis player Björn Borg.

Given his interest in travel and foreign cultures, many of Bjorn's videos feature men of clearly identifiable ethnic backgrounds and nationalities in typical surroundings. The titles of his videos are indicative of this characteristic: Carnaval in Rio (1989), Manhattan Latin (1990), Caribbean Beat (1990), A Sailor in Sydney (1990), Montreal Men (1992), The Vampire of Budapest (1995), and so forth.

 

 Click for full Monty

1962Colton Ford, Born in California, is the stage name of Glenn Soukesian, a singer and actor, and former gay-sex adult film star.

Colton Ford is a hairy, goatteed, greying stud who made a big impression on his gay porn debut at the start of the 21st century - thanks partly to his dating fellow porn star Blake Harper. He boasts a nice seven-inch penis and has topped and bottomed in his movies.

Outside of porn he's a singer, sang with a jazz quartet, has had record deals and performed with Chaka Khan. He was the subject of the documentary Naked Fame, which charted his move from porn to music and was one of the stars of the American TV channel here! series The Lair. Ford released his album Tug Of War digitally in 2008. His second album, Under the Covers was released in 2009.


Colton Ford's "Let Me Live Again" on YouTube

Ford made his off-Broadway debut in 2011 playing a role in the musical theatre Little House on the Ferry, a modern gay love story set in the legendary summer resort Fire Island, New York. The play included eleven original songs, also released as an album by the original cast and the play included cameos by many members of New York City's LGBT community. "After Hours" (Original Cast Recording) was released as a single featuring vocals by Colton Ford. The show ran in New York from November 3-20, 2011 and featured Colton Ford, Seph Stanek, Chris Van Kirk, Matt Rodriguez, Kit Balcuns, Sean Luftus.

Reportedly, Blake Harper helped support his boyfriend's move to the music world, but they have since parted ways, and both have left the porn scene.

 


John Watkins (L) with Dmitri Chuvahin
& Lester B. Pearson

1964 – Died: John Watkins (b.1902 - day and month unknown) was an educator and Canadian Ambassador to the USSR (1954-1956). Born at Norval Station, Ontario, Watkins was a Scandinavian specialist at the University of Manitoba before joining the Department of External Affairs in 1946. In 1955 he organised an historic meeting between Canadian External Affairs Minister Lester B Pearson and Communist Party chief Nikita Khrushchev.

John Watkins was also a homosexual, was an admirer of the Soviet regime, and desperately sought out as many "friendships" as possible during his assignment. Watkins was especially fond of his Russian best friend, Alyosha who had introduced himself as Alexei , a "historian" and a "consultant" to the Soviet foreign ministry. Watkins and became great pals and engaged in many fascinating discussions, about which Watkins could hardly contain his excitement in his dispatches back to Ottawa.

The only little problem with "Alyosha" was that he was not "Alyosha". He was Oleg Gribanov, the second-highest ranking official of the KGB's Second Directorate - the KGB department responsible for intelligence operations within the USSR. Gribanov conducted sophisticated operations to entrap and compromise Western diplomats.

The KGB was extremely successful in manipulating homosexual orientations in its espionage operations. Thus, while Gribanov enchanted Watkins with his heart-felt speeches about Soviet good intentions, he simultaneously succeeded in entrapping the Canadian ambassador in a homosexual liaison. The KGB photographed Watkins in a set-up homosexual encounter in a Moscow hotel room with a KGB plant and subsequently attempted to blackmail him to enlist his services.

Throughout these events, Gribanov posed as the sympathetic best friend, seeking to help Watkins out of his predicament. He informed the ambassador about the "outrageous" KGB operation against him and then consoled him that he (Alyosha) had succeeded in getting "the file".

Alyosha regretted, however, that he could only "hold the KGB off" if Watkins agreed to help make things "easier" for Dmitri Chuvahin, the Soviet ambassador to Canada - Chuvahin had a very "difficult" job in Ottawa, Gribanov told Watkins, and it would be a very good idea for Watkins to "be friendly to Chuvahin".

It was only in the early 1960s, after the defection of several KGB officers, that the ingredients of Watkins' Soviet odyssey became known. KGB Major Anatoli Golitsyn (who defected in 1961) and Yuri Krotkov, a writer who co-operated with the KGB (who defected in 1963) provided information about a compromised Canadian ambassador but could not identify Watkins specifically. KGB captain and CIA informant Yuri Nosenko did so upon his defection in 1964. The CIA informed Ottawa in August of that year.

Canadian security officials immediately investigated Watkins. The former ambassador, already retired, appeared to be co-operative. He admitted that he had been compromised, but he denied that he was an agent of influence. Watkins was secretly detained in a hotel in Montréal by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the US Central Intelligence Agency who were concerned that he was an agent of influence. He died several days into the interrogation. (The official obituary/coverup claimed he suffered a heart attack in the company of friends during a farewell supper celebrating his illustrious career.)

The events of his death were exposed by Ian Adams in 1980. The Parti Québécois government swiftly ordered an inquest into Watkins' death. The RCMP refused to hand over the full report, claiming it would damage national security, but finally admitted Watkins had died under police interrogation in the Montréal hotel room, he had not given into Soviet blackmailing tactics, and he was not a traitor.

 Added 2021

 

1966Jonathan Crombie (d.2015) was a Canadian actor and voice over artist, best known for playing Gilbert Blythe in CBC Television's 1985 telefilm Anne of Green Gables and its two sequels.

Crombie was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Shirley Anne (Bowden) and David Crombie, who was the mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978 and a Canadian federal Cabinet Minister in the 1980s. Crombie attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, where he was spotted by casting agent Diane Polley performing in a production of The Wizard of Oz.

Crombie had no previous acting experience and used a photo he took at a kiosk in Union Station when he auditioned for the role of Gilbert Blythe in the 1985 TV miniseries Anne of Green Gables. He reprised the role in the 1987 TV movie Anne of Avonlea, the 2000 TV movie Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and an episode of Road to Avonlea in 1992. His role was so popular that he answered to the nickname "Gil".

Crombie was also a comedian and in 1998 performed on the Canadian TV series Comedy Now! as part of a sketch comedy group. His other television credits included a guest appearance on an episode of the Vancouver filmed TV series 21 Jump Street in 1991, voicing the title character in the animated series The Secret World of Benjamin Bear (2004–2010), along with its 3 prequel films, and appearing in the second season of Slings & Arrows (2005), as playwright Lionel Train. In 2015, he had a guest role on The Good Wife and Haven.

In 2014, Crombie and John Mitchell wrote, produced and directed a documentary titled Waiting for Ishtar about the 1987 film Ishtar. The documentary was financed by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. It premiered in at Cinecycle in Toronto on December 14, 2017. It was dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Crombie.

He spent four seasons at Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival appearing in A Comedy Of Errors, Hamlet, As You Like It, Taming Of The Shrew, and as Romeo in Diana Leblanc's Romeo and Juliet.

Crombie's family announced on April 18, 2015 that he had died suddenly three days earlier of a brain hemorrhage in New York City. His organs were donated. News of his death led to "Gilbert Blythe" trending on Twitter as fans shared their condolences.

Crombie never married and had no children. At his memorial service in 2015, his sister Robin said that "Jonathan was also a gay man who didn’t come out until his 40s … He was a very private person."

1971New York City Department of Consumer Affairs recommends the repeal of a city law banning homosexuals from working in or going to bars.

 

Shane McAnally

1974Shane McAnally, born in Mineral Wells, Texas, is an American country music singer, songwriter and producer. He signed to Curb Records in 1999 and released a self-titled debut album the following year. This album produced three singles for him on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, including the number 31 "Are Your Eyes Still Blue."

In the late 2000s, he began writing songs for Lee Ann Womack, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, and Miranda Lambert.

In 2012 he produced Kacey Musgraves' major label debut Same Trailer Different Park with Musgraves and fellow songwriter, Luke Laird. He co-wrote nine of the album's twelve tracks including the first three singles, "Merry Go 'Round", "Blowin' Smoke" and "Follow Your Arrow".

His first single, "Say Anything" was released in 1999 as the lead-off single to his self-titled debut album. The follow-up single, "Are Your Eyes Still Blue", became his first Top 40 single, peaking at number 31. McAnally released two more singles from the album; "Run Away", which peaked at number 50 on the country chart, and "It Comes and Goes." McAnally briefly recorded under the name Shane Mack from 2005-2007. Five of his songs appear in the 2007 LGBT film Shelter.

McAnally is openly gay. McAnally married his partner of six years, Michael Baum, in September 2012. The couple welcomed a daughter and a son in December 2012.

1979 – The National Coalition of Black Gays sponsored a conference in Washington DC, The First Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference.

 


Rosswood with son Connor and husband Mat

1979Eric Rosswood (née Ross) is an American writer and LGBT activist, best known for writing books about parenting. He is the author of My Uncle's Wedding, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood, and The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads.

In 1997, Rosswood started the first Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, California where he went to school.

Rosswood has been an activist for LGBTQ equality and equal rights. In addition to starting a GSA at his high school, he was also a chapter leader for Marriage Equality USA and helped with grassroots activism in the fight against Prop 8, which took away marriage rights from same-sex couples.

He joined the board of San Francisco Pride in 2011 and stayed on for two years prior to stepping down before the birth of his son.

Rosswood and his husband, Mat, were married at Disneyland in 2011. They combined their last names (Ross and Wood) to make Rosswood. They adopted their son, Connor, in 2013. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Rosswood stated he and his husband "encountered challenges not typically covered in basic parenting manuals" because they were same-sex parents.

In 2017, when Heterosexual Pride Day was trending on Twitter, Rosswood tweeted, "It's that time of year again when all the homophobic people complain about not having a #HeterosexualPrideDay and here's the annual response: "Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn't a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don't need one.""

Rosswood is now a commentator on LGBTQ issues, including civil rights, parenting, marriage, and politics. He has led panels on LGBTQ parenting issues for organizations such as the Family Equality Council and the Modern Family Alliance.

 

1981Brian J. Smith is an American actor, known for his role as Will Gorski in the Netflix-produced series Sense8, Lieutenant Matthew Scott in the military science fiction television series Stargate Universe, and his Tony Award-nominated role as Jim O'Connor (The Gentleman Caller) in the 2013 revival of The Glass Menagerie.

While enrolled at Collin College, Smith worked as theatre technician. He was later cast as Alex in A Clockwork Orange in a Quad C Theatre production to a positive review from the Dallas Observer. In 2005, he portrayed Trey, a gay man facing intolerance from the son of a fundamentalist preacher, in Hate Crime, an independent film that featured at gay and lesbian film festivals around the United States.

Upon graduating from Juilliard, Smith briefly considered joining the US Army due to several setbacks in his career. Smith eventually received acting roles in two more independent films, Red Hook and The War Boys. In 2008, he appeared on Broadway in the play Come Back, Little Sheba as the character Turk. Smith was cast as Lieutenant Matthew Scott, a lead role in the 2009 Stargate television series, Stargate Universe, until its cancellation in 2010. He also guest-starred on Law & Order in 2009.

In 2011, Smith recurred on The CW's Gossip Girl and starred in the SyFy original film Red Faction: Origins. In April 2012, he began his run as Andrei in the hit Broadway show, The Columnist, which ended in July 2012. His next projects included the mini-series Coma from producer Tony Scott and an appearance on Warehouse 13 for SyFy.

From September 2013 to February 2014, he played The Gentleman Caller in a Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie at the Booth Theatre. This role earned him 2014 Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play. In 2015, he appeared in the pilot episode of Quantico as one of the new FBI recruits.

Smith was a lead cast member on the Netflix original series Sense8 (2015-2018) playing the character Will Gorski. He followed up with main roles on Treadstone, a serial spin-off of the Bourne films, and the BBC World War II drama mini series World on Fire in 2019.

On November 7, 2019, Smith came out as gay in an interview with Attitude.

 

1988Callum Scott  is a British singer and songwriter born on this date. In 2013, he won a talent competition put on by his local newspaper. In 2015, he became known worldwide after competing on the popular television show Britain's Got Talent. He subsequently released his version of the hit "Dancing on My Own" as a single, which reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and became the best-selling song that summer in the UK. In 2018, he collaborated with Leona Lewis on the single "You Are the Reason."

Scott is out Gay. He is said to have had issues with his sexuality when growing up, but since becoming an adult, he is confident about it. In March 2018, he told Gay Times that he wants to be a positive example for the LGBT community and use his personality to promote acceptance. In August 2013, Scott won the talent competition Mail's Star Search, organized by Hull Daily Mail. He then joined a Maroon 5 tribute band, Maroon 4, and toured around the United Kingdom. In 2014 he formed the electronic duo, The Experiment with John McIntyre

In April 2015, Scott's audition for the ninth series of Britain's Got Talent was broadcast on ITV. Just before his audition, his sister Jade also auditioned, but was stopped early on both of her songs by Simon Cowell. Jade received three "No" votes from Amanda, David, and Simon (Aleisha's vote was unannounced as it was not needed). Despite obvious nerves at seeing his sister get rejected, Calum performed a cover of Robyn's "Dancing on My Own", which he had heard Kings of Leon performing on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge in 2013. Following a standing ovation from the judging panel, Simon Cowell pressed the Golden Buzzer giving Scott an automatic place in the live shows.

Explaining his decision to send Scott straight to the semi-finals, Cowell said: "I've never ever in all the years I've done this show heard a guy with the talent you've got. Seriously. And the version was sensational, and that shows to me that you're more than a singer, you're an artist and that's why you got that (the buzzer)."

In October 2018, Scott released a new single titled "No Matter What". Upon release Scott said "'No Matter What' is without question the most personal song I have ever written and the one I am most proud of. It's a song born from loneliness, acceptance and the heartbreaking but liberating tale of my coming out experience. What I love about this song is that it isn't just limited to a story of sexual identity, but about the relationship between parent and child and acceptance as a whole. This song didn't make my debut album because I simply wasn't ready at that time to give it to the world."

 

1992Josh Hutcherson is an American actor. He began his acting career in the early 2000s, appearing in several minor film and television roles. Growing up as a child-actor, he gained exposure between 2004 and 2009 with major roles in the films Little Manhattan and Zathura, the comedy RV, the family adventure film Firehouse Dog, and the film adaptations of The Polar Express, Bridge to Terabithia, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. He received eight Young Artist Award nominations for Best Leading Young Actor in those five years, half of which he won. In 2011, Hutcherson landed the leading role of Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games film series, based on Suzanne Collins' novel series.

Hutcherson co-founded the gay–straight alliance campaign "Straight But Not Narrow" with Avan Jogia. Around the time he was born, two of his uncles who were gay, and in their early thirties, died of AIDS. In April 2012, he became the youngest recipient of the Vanguard Award from GLAAD, given for promoting equal rights for LGBT people. In regards to his sexuality, he told Out in October 2013 that while he considers himself to be straight he does not believe in being limited by labels.

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1998Matthew Shepard died on this date (b. 1976). Shepard was an openly Gay American student at the University of Wyoming who was attacked near Laramie on the night of October 6th in what was widely reported by international news media as a savage beating because of his sexuality. Shepard died from severe head injuries at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12, 1998.

His murder brought national attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. His two assailants were convicted of the crime and imprisoned. One is currently serving two consecutive life sentences and the other is serving the same but without the possibility of parole. After his death, Shepard's parents became full-time advocates for the passage of hate crime legislation that would include sexual orientation.

The Matthew Shepard Act (officially the "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act"), was a bill in the United States Congress that expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. After years of attempting to pass the act, on October 22, 2009, the act was passed by the Senate by a largely party line vote with Republicans opposing the Act and Democrats supporting it. During debate in the House of Representatives, Republican Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina called the "hate crime" labeling of Shepard's murder a "hoax." Shepard's mother was said to be in the House gallery when the congresswoman made this comment. President Obama signed the measure into law on October 28, 2009. Proving once again that elections do matter.

2008Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in a 4-3 decision.

2011Huffington Post launches Gay Voices, the first mainstream news organization to have an LGBT-focused section. Noah Michelson is the section’s first editor. The name was changed to Queer Voices in 2016.

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