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

August 9

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1855 – The French symbolist poet, novelist and reluctant journalist Jean Lorrain, was born on this date (d.1906). Born Paul Duval, Lorrain was a dedicated disciple of dandyism, and (for the times) openly Gay. Lorrain wrote a number of collections of verse, including La foret bleue (1883) and L'ombre ardente, (1897). He is also remembered for his decadent novels and short stories, such as Monsieur de Phocas (1901) and Histoires des masques Sonyeuse, which he links to portraits exhibited by Antonio de La Gandara in 1893.

The once famous journalist worked only because he had to. He preferred to spend his life sleeping with the sailors along the Paris, Nice and Marseilles waterfronts. "Fucking," he once wrote, "is basically a sport for idle minds. When you work, it's good-bye ass!"

Although his works are largely forgotten today, they should be revived and vigorously pursued. How can one ignore an author who, in a fashionable Parisian restaurant, once shouted at the top of his lungs the following couplet: "I spent the night between two fellows from the docks, / who took turns, and cured me of the hots!"

His best novels appeared in his final years. Monsieur de Bougrelon (1897), Monsieur de Phocas (1901), and Le Vice Errant (1902) center on men mired in decadence, vice, and (implicitly) homosexuality; La Maison Philibert (1904) gives a picture of life in a provincial brothel and a panoramic tour of Parisian prostitution and criminality.

Most of Lorrain's income derived from journalism. Beginning in the mid-1880s, he wrote regular columns for a series of mass-circulation newspapers, most notably Le Courrier francais, L'Evenement, and L'Echo de Paris. He chronicled Parisian life of the day--the literary, theatrical, and artistic worlds, as well as French society, both high and low--using his savage wit to attack and ridicule many of the era's leading figures. In the process, he made countless enemies. Edmond de Goncourt wondered in 1895, "What's Lorrain's dominant trait? Is it spite or a complete lack of tact?" (Most people thought it the former.) But as Sarah Bernhardt once wrote Lorrain, "inside the abominably depraved being that you are, there beats the heart of a great artist, a genuinely sensitive and tender heart."

1858The Ottoman Empire decriminalizes consensual homosexuality.

1858Raphael Gallenti, a sailor from Malta, is thought to be the first person to be arrested for sodomy in California. He served a five-year prison sentence and was released on this day.

1875 – Although born in Caracas, Venezuela, Reynaldo Hahn (d.1947), was raised and educated in France, studying music at the Paris Conservatoire under Massenet. He also studied with Gounod and Saint-Saëns, with whom he is widely believed to have had a relationship. He is said to have been a lover of Proust. He appears to have been rather handsome, intelligent and charming.

A child prodigy, Reynaldo made his "professional" début at the salon of the eccentric beldam Princess de Metternich (Napoleon's niece). Hahn played the piano accompaniment to his own singing of Jacques Offenbach's arias on this occasion; just a few years later at the age of eight, Hahn would compose his first songs.

Despite the Paris Conservatoire's tradition of antipathy towards child prodigies (Franz Liszt had famously been rebuffed by the school many years before), Hahn entered the school at the age of ten. His teachers included Jules Massenet, Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Saëns; Alfred Cortot and Maurice Ravel were fellow students.

Ironically, there are personal letters Hahn wrote in which he was frequently critical of homosexuals and homosexuality. This is understandable considering the epoch in which he lived: the disgrace of Oscar Wilde was to occur shortly.

1894 was to prove a fateful year for Hahn. At the home of artist Madeleine Lemaire, he met an aspiring writer three years older than himself. The writer was the then little-known, "highly strung and snobby" Marcel Proust. Proust and Hahn shared a love for painting, literature, and Fauré. They became lovers and often traveled together and collaborated on various projects. One of those projects, Portraits de peintres (1896), is a work consisting of spoken text with piano accompaniment.

Hahn honed his writing skills during this period, becoming one of the best critics on music and musicians. Seldom appreciating his contemporaries, he instead admired the artists of the past , shown in his portraits of legendary figures. His writing, like Proust's, was characterized by a deft skill in depicting small details.

Proust's unfinished autobiographical novel Jean Santeuil, posthumously published shows nascent genius and foreshadows his masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu. Proust began to write it in 1895, one year after meeting Hahn, on whom the hero is reportedly based. Although by 1896 they were no longer lovers, they remained lifelong friends and supporters until Proust's death in 1922.

Hahn is best known as a composer of French songs in the classical song tradition, including settings to Victor Hugo and the poems of Verlaine, but he also wrote operettas, chamber and orchestral music. The fine craftsmanship, remarkable beauty, and originality of his works capture the insouciance of la belle époque.

He was also a conductor, specialising in the works of Mozart; was general manager of the Cannes Casino opera house; and was for years the influential music critic of the French newspaper Le Figaro.

Forced to leave Paris in 1940 during the Nazi occupation, he returned after the war in 1945 to fulfill his appointment as director of the Paris Opéra. Unfortunately, he died shortly afterwards without executing the reforms for which his supporters had hoped.


1896 – Born in Moscow, Léonide Massine (d.1979) was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer. Massine studied dance at the Bolshoi Theatre School. From 1915 to 1921, he was principal choreographer of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, creating new work with composers such as Erik Satie and Stravinsky with sets and costumes by the likes of Picasso and Matisse. Following Nijinsky's departure, he became one of the principal male leads for the Ballet, as well as another of Diaghilev's string of prodigiously gifted lovers.

As a young dancer, Massine is said to have resembled the ripening boys whom Baron von Gloeden photographed at Taormina. As Nijinksy’s successor, both in Diaghilev’s bed and as dancer and choreographer, he was, if anything, even more popular with Europe’s gay set, because he was more sexually attractive than Nijinsky.

Several Oxford and Cambridge dandies were known to treasure scrapbooks filled exclusively with photographs of Massine, and Harold Acton and Brian Howard, as young Eton students, are reputed to have performed behind closed blinds all the roles of their Russian idol. (They were then a precocious fourteen and thirteen respectively.)

But history repeated itself. Massine fell in love with a ballerina, quarreled with his lover, and was dismissed from Diaghilev's company. Three years later, his impetuous marriage annulled, he begged Diaghilev to take him back. Unforgiving, the impresario refused – by this time, he had Serge Lifar.

After Diaghilev's death, Massine kept the flame of the Ballet Russes burning through his involvement with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo - one of two ballet companies to rise from the ashes of Diaghilev's genius. He is established as one of the most important choreographers of the 20th century.

Massine appeared in two Powell and Pressburger ballet films The Red Shoes (1948) and The Tales of Hoffman (1952). He died in Cologne aged 82.


1899Pamela Lyndon Travers, OBE, born Helen Lyndon Goff (d.1996), was an Australian-British novelist, actress and journalist.In 1924, she emigrated to England where she wrote under the pen name P. L. Travers. In 1933, she began writing her series of children's novels about the mystical and magical English nanny Mary Poppins. During the Second World War, while working for the British Ministry of Information, she travelled to New York where Roy Disney first contacted her about selling the Mary Poppins character to the Disney studio for film use.

Helen Lyndon Goff (she was known within her family as Lyndon) was born in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, the daughter of an unsuccessful bank manager (later demoted to bank clerk), who was of Irish background, but born in Deptford, south London, England. Her mother was was the niece of Boyd Dunlop Morehead, who was Premier of Queensland from 1888 to 1890. Her father's job took the family to Allora, Queensland in 1905, where he died of influenza two years later, aged 43, after a long battle with alcoholism. Following this, Lyndon Goff and her mother and sisters moved to Bowra, New South Wales in 1907, and lived there until 1917. She boarded at Normanhurst Girls School in Ashfield, Sydney, during World War I.

Lyndon Goff began publishing her poems while still a teenager and wrote for The Bulletin and Triad while also gaining a reputation as an actress; she soon adopted the stage name "Pamela Lyndon Travers". She toured Australia and New Zealand with Allan Wilkie's Shakespearean Company before leaving for England in 1924. There she dedicated herself to writing under the pen name P. L. Travers. In 1931, she moved out of a rented flat in London that she shared with her friend Madge Burnand, and the two set up home together in a thatched Sussex cottage. It was here, in the winter of 1933, that she began to write Mary Poppins Travers' literary output other than Mary Poppins and its sequels included other novels, poetry collections and works of non-fiction.

Though Travers had numerous fleeting relationships with men throughout her life, she lived for more than a decade with Madge Burnand, daughter of Sir Francis Burnand, a playwright and the former editor of Punch. They shared a London flat from 1927 to 1934, then moved to a thatched cottage in Sussex, where Travers published the first of the Mary Poppins books; while on holiday in Italy, Burnand photographed Travers topless on the beach. Their friendship, in the words of one biographer, was “intense,” but also equally ambiguous.

At the age of 40, two years after moving out on her own, Travers adopted a baby boy from Ireland whom she named Camillus Travers Hone. He was the grandchild of Joseph Hone, W. B. Yeats' first biographer, who was raising his seven grandchildren with his wife. Camillus had a twin brother named Anthony, but Travers chose only Camillus, based on advice from her astrologer. Camillus was unaware of his true parentage or the existence of any siblings until the age of 17, when Anthony came to London and knocked on the door of Travers' house. He had been drinking and demanded to see his brother. Travers refused to allow it and threatened to call the police. Anthony left but soon after, Camillus, after arguing with Travers, went looking for his brother and found him in a pub on Kings Road.

Travers was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1977. She lived into advanced old age, but her health was declining toward the end of her life. Travers died in London on 23 April 1996 at the age of 96. According to her grandchildren, Travers "died loving no one and with no one loving her."


1914Tove Jansson (d.2001) was a Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author. For her contribution as a children's writer she received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1966.

Brought up by artistic parents, Jansson studied art from 1930 to 1938 in Stockholm, Helsinki and then Paris. Her first solo art exhibition was in 1943. At the same time, she was writing short stories and articles for publication, as well as creating the graphics for book covers and other purposes. She continued to work as an artist for the rest of her life, alongside her writing.

Jansson is best known as the author of the Moomin books for children. The first such book, The Moomins and the Great Flood, appeared in 1945, though it was the next two books, Comet in Moominland and Finn Family Moomintroll, published in 1946 and 1948 respectively, that brought her fame.

Starting with the semi-autobiographical Bildhuggarens dotter (Sculptor's Daughter) in 1968, she wrote six novels and five books of short stories for adults.

Altogether Jansson's nine chapter books and five picture books have spawned at least six different tv series in Europe, Russia, and Japan, a long-running British comic strip, a theme park, an opera, and many movies, the most recent of which debuted at Cannes in 2010. That film, Moomins and the Comet Chase, features music by Bjork who is a lifelong fan of the creatures' funny/sad innocence and mischief, their anti-authority non-conformity, and their harmony with nature.

The Moomin character Tooticky is based on Jansson's partner Tuulikki Pietilä, a graphic artist. The two women were together at least fifty years and their relationship is the heart of the brief, elegant love story Fair Play.


1923 – Born: the Portuguese surrealist poet Mário Cesariny also known by his full name Mário Cesariny de Vasconcelos (d.2006). Among the most important Portuguese surrealist poets, Cesariny published several major works during a career spanning 50 years. Cesariny was also a painter, but his work became more centered on poetry in the 1950s.

Cesariny studied in the prestigious Escola de Artes Decorativas António Arroio and also studied music with the composer Fernando Lopes Graça. Later he joined the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, where he met André Breton in 1947. He soon became influenced by the French surrealist movement and was one of the biggest supporters of the movement in Portugal, where he founded the Lisbon Surrealist Movement with other Portuguese artists including Alexandre O'Neill and José-Augusto França.

After being acquainted with the surrealist movement, Cesariny moved away from the neorealist movement, important at the time in the country for being composed mainly by members of the resistance against the fascist-leaning regime of Oliveira Salazar. He adopted an attitude of constant experimenting in his work. This principle is the main characteristic of his work and was present throughout his career.

From 1960 until April 25, 1974, Cesariny was mercilessly harassed by the Portuguese Polícia Judiciária "on suspicion of vagrancy," a euphemistic term used by the police in those days for homosexuality, The poet suffered this persecution courageously. His homosexuality and the persecution are mentioned several times in his writings in a veiled way. They were one of the causes of his intermittent stays in Great Britain and France during the 1960s and 1970s. Later he talked publicly about it.

1926 Frank M. Robinson (d.2014) was an American science fiction and techno-thriller writer.

Robinson was born in Chicago, Illinois. The son of a check forger, Frank started out working as a copy boy for International Service in his teens and then became an office boy for Ziff-Davis. He was drafted into the Navy for World War II, and when his tour was over went to Beloit College where he majored in physics, graduating in 1950. Then, according to his official website, he could find no work as a writer, and wound up back in the Navy to serve in Korea, where he managed to keep writing, read a lot, and publish in the magazine Astounding.

After the Navy, he went to graduate school in journalism, then worked for a Chicago-based Sunday supplement. Soon afterward he switched to Science Digest, where he worked from 1956-1959. From there, he moved into men's magazines: Rogue (1959-65) and Cavalier (1965-66). In 1969, Playboy asked him to take over the Playboy Advisor column. He remained with Playboy until 1973, when he left to write full-time.

After moving to San Francisco in the 1970s, Robinson, who was gay, was a speechwriter for gay politician Harvey Milk; he also had a small role in the film Milk. After Milk's assassination, Robinson was co-executor, with Scott Smith, of Milk's last will and testament.

He was the author of 16 books, the editor of two others, and has penned numerous articles. Three of his novels have been made into movies. The Power (1956) ; the technothriller The Glass Inferno, co-written with Thomas N. Scortia, was combined with Richard Martin Stern's The Tower to produce the 1974 movie The Towering Inferno; and The Gold Crew, also co-written with Scortia, was filmed as an NBC miniseries re-titled The Fifth Missile.

In 2009 he was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame

1967 – The influential British playwright Joe Orton died on this date. (b. 1933). He was murdered by his partner Kenneth Halliwell , who then killed himself.

In a short but prolific career lasting from 1964 until his death, Orton shocked, outraged and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies. The adjective Ortonesque is now used to refer to something characterised by a dark but farcical cynicism.


1968 Gillian Anderson is an American actress. After beginning her career in theatre, Anderson achieved international recognition for her role as Special Agent Dana Scully on the American television series The X-Files. Her film work includes The House of Mirth (2000), The Mighty Celt (2005), The Last King of Scotland (2006), and two X-Files films, The X-Files (1998) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).

In March 2012, Anderson told Out magazine about her past relationship in high school with a girl saying, "If I had thought I was 100% gay, would it have been a different experience for me? Would it have been a bigger deal if shame had been attached to it and all those things that become huge life-altering issues for youngsters in that situation? It's possible that my attitude around it came, on some level, from knowing that I still liked boys." Anderson also revealed the woman died prior to the interview with Out, stating, "I felt like I was honoring her memory in some way simply by admitting its existence."

1972 – The Ohio Secretary of State refuses to grant articles of incorporation to the Greater Cincinnati Gay Society. Two years later, the Ohio Supreme Court upholds the decision, stating that even though homosexual acts are now legal in Ohio, "the promotion of homosexuality as a valid life style is contrary to the public policy of the State of Ohio."

1973Donald Cawley, New York City police commissioner, issues a directive prohibiting police officers from using derogatory terms to refer to homosexuals.

1980Charlie David is a Canadian actor, who stars in the LGBT horror series Dante's Cove. He has also worked as a producer, writer, and TV host on a number of shows like F.Y.E!, SpyTV, Bump! and Crash Test Mommy. He is co-owner, alongside Derek James and Linda Carter of Border2Border Entertainment, a production house of film and television projects.

Charles David Lubiniecki was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and raised in Yorkton. During high school, David performed in the musical group Sask Express. In 2000, he graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, Victoria, British Columbia.

He then moved on to co-found the boy band 4Now, in which he played piano. The band performed around Canada and the United States and opened for acts including Destiny's Child, The Black Eyed Peas and Pink. The band released two recordings and is currently on hiatus.

David later turned his attention to hosting and acting. He hosted for E! Television, NBC, OUTtv, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, and Life Network.

He appeared in the mini-series Terminal City in 2005 and is in the movies A Four Letter Word (2007) and Kiss the Bride (2008). He wrote the screenplay and stars in the film Mulligans, which had its premiere at the InsideOut LGBT Film Festival in Toronto in May 2007.

(Click for larger)

In addition to the movies he has been in, he also wrote several books: Mulligans, Boy Midflight and Shadowlands. He has also narrated the audiobook for Shadowlands.

David plays Toby in the LGBT horror series Dante's Cove. The character is portrayed in a monogamous and loving relationship with boyfriend Kevin (Gregory Michael). David said in an interview,

"What was attractive [about the role] was for me to portray a gay relationship, in which it's not always a different guy every night. Many gays and lesbians do pursue—and have—loving relationships in which we are very committed to each other. I think that is what Toby brings to the show. He is kind of a voice of reason, and has a definite dedication to his boyfriend."


1982Aiden James is an American folk-pop singer, songwriter and musician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has released two albums to date, and has toured extensively throughout the United States both as a solo performer and as an opening act for Matt Morris, Shawn Colvin and Andy Bell.

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the foster care system and does not know his mother and father. He started playing the piano at age 4, and started to sing at age 6. He started performing in children's choirs and small theatre productions. He has told the press that his first musical memory was trying to play Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting" on a toy keyboard at the age of four or five.

In 2008, James released his debut album On the Run. His video for the album's title track received airplay on both MTV and Logo, expanding his audience beyond Philadelphia. Over the next few years, he supported the album by touring extensively, including an appearance at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2010, a live performance on SiriusXM, and a tour with singer-songwriter Christopher Dallman which included performances in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

In 2013, his live performances included a show with Matt Morris in Denver, Colorado, performances at the Viva la Vida Festival in Pioneer, California, and the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, and a headlining spot at Pride Northwest in Portland, Oregon. In 2014, James released the single "Last Reminder", which was cowritten with Morris, and performed at the Castro Street Fair in San Francisco.

James, who is openly gay, supports organizations including PAWS, a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia dedicated to saving homeless, abandoned and unwanted animals.


Eugene Levy and Dan Levy

1983 Daniel Levy, also known professionally as Dan Levy, is a Canadian actor, writer, producer, TV personality and the son of comedian and actor Eugene Levy.

Levy was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1983, the son of Deborah Divine and Canadian actor Eugene Levy. He is the older brother of Sarah Levy.

Levy got his breakthrough working as the former co-host of MTV Canada's program The After Show and its various incarnations including The Hills: The After Show and The City: Live After Show with co-host Jessi Cruickshank. Previously, he was one of the original seven co-hosts of MTV Canada's flagship series MTV Live, which is now no longer on air. Levy also wrote, produced, and starred in his own Christmas Special for MTV, Daniel Levy's Holi-Do's & Don'ts for MTV and co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet, the X-Factor pre-show, and national coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Games for CTV.

As an actor, he has appeared in a four-episode story arc of the Canadian TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, which premiered as a TV movie called Degrassi Goes Hollywood. In his Degrassi arc, Levy played a film producer who hires Paige Michalchuk as the lead in a new film directed by actor Jason Mewes. He has also appeared in the 2012 thriller Offline and in the 2013 film Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd

In 2013, Levy formed Not A Real Company Productions (with his father Eugene Levy and principals Andrew Barnsley and Fred Levy). Their first project was a television pilot with CBC, which resulted in Schitt's Creek. Levy also stars in the series alongside his father, sister, Catherine O'Hara, Annie Murphy, and Chris Elliott. It's the first television series produced by Not a Real Company Productions, the production company of Levy and his father. Levy has spoken publicly often about his character's portrayal of pansexuality, saying:

I think in certain parts of America, David’s sexual ambiguity was a big question mark. (But) it was issues like that that I find quite exciting.

Levy splits his time between Toronto and Los Angeles, though he has said that London is his "favourite city," after having lived there in 2005. Levy identifies as gay and he has been out since he was 19.


1995Justice Smith is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Franklin Webb in the 2018 science fiction film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Tim Goodman in Detective Pikachu and Theodore in All the Bright Places alongside Elle Fanning.

Smith was born in Anaheim, California. His father is African-American and his mother is of European descent. He is the fifth of nine siblings. Smith graduated from the Orange County School of the Arts in 2013 and has performed in shows around Orange County.

Justice Smith participated in a live reading adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and This is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan with Acting for a Cause, a live classic play and screenplay reading series, created, directed and produced by Brando Crawford during the 2020 pandemic to help raise funds for non-profit charities including Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Smith came out as queer in an Instagram post on June 5, 2020, and said he is in a romantic relationship with actor Nicholas L. Ashe. Smith took to his Instagram with a call-to-action for the Black Lives Matter movement to be more inclusive of Black queer and Black trans voices. His post culminated with a declaration of his love for his boyfriend, the actor Nicholas Ashe, a decision he didn’t take lightly. As he wrote under the photo: “There is so much tragedy on the timeline these last couple of days so I added some photos of me and Nic to show some [blackqueerlove].

Justice and Nicholas Ashe

2005 – Nepal police begin rounding up transsexuals in a sweep of the capital, Katmandu.

2007 – On this date, the gay cable channel LOGO and the Human Rights Campaign hosted a first-ever Gay Debate for presidential candidates. Present at the debate were Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards and Chris Dodd. Candidates from the two major parties were invited but none of the Republican candidates showed up.


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