Table of Contents
THIS DAY IN GAY HISTORY
based on: The White Crane Institute's 'Gay Wisdom', Gay Birthdays, Gay For Today, Famous GLBT, glbt-Gay Encylopedia, Today in Gay History, Wikipedia, and more …
Collected by Ted
1818 – Greece: On this day the Lion of Chaeronea is discovered by a British architect named George Ledwell Taylor. The Lion was erected by the Sacred Band of Thebes which was a troop of select soldiers consisting of 150 pairs of male lovers which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC. Its predominance began with its crucial role in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. It was annihilated by Philip II of Macedon in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. Built to honor their dead, the statue was surrounded by 254 buried skeletons. Plutarch’s Life of Pelopidas, which contains the most detailed account of the Sacred Band, is considered a highly reliable account of the events. Chaeronea is a village in Boeotia, Greece.
1902 – George Quaintance was born (d.1957). Quaintance was a gay American artist, famous for his "idealized, strongly homoerotic" depictions of men in mid-20th-century physique magazines. Using historical settings to justify the nudity or distance the subjects from modern society, his art featured idealized muscular, semi-nude or nude male figures; Wild West settings were a common motif. His artwork helped establish the stereotype of the "macho stud" who was also homosexual.
Quaintance was born in Page County, Virginia, and grew up on a farm, displaying an aptitude for art. Even as a teen, Quaintance has been described as "obviously and actively homosexual", despite being closeted.
In the 1930s, he became a hairstylist. His first art assignments were anonymous advertising work, but by 1934 he had begun to sell freelance cover illustrations to a variety of "spicy" pulp magazines, such as Gay French Life, Ginger, Movie Humor, Movie Merry Go-Round, Snappy Detective Mysteries, Snappy Stories, Stolen Sweets, and Tempting Tales. These were sold at burlesque halls as well as under-the-counter at discreet newsstands.
His companion Victor Garcia, described as Quaintance's "model, life partner, and business associate", was the subject of many of Quaintance's photographs in the 1940s. In 1951, Quaintance's art was used for the first cover of Physique Pictorial, edited by Bob Mizer of the Athletic Model Guild. In the early 1950s, Quaintance and Garcia moved to Rancho Siesta, which became the home of Studio Quaintance, a business venture based around Quaintance's artworks. In 1953, Quaintance completed a series of three paintings about a matador, modeled by Angel Avila, another of his lovers. By 1956, the business had become so successful that Quaintance could not keep up with the demand for his works.George Quaintance died of a heart attack on November 8, 1957.
(Click pics for larger)
Though few people outside the Gay world know it, Quaintance was a pioneer of male physique painting. This genre heralded a new American Gay consciousness in the early 1950s. His art helped define the now-familiar iconography of male erotica. He was an influence on many later homoerotic artists, such as Tom of Finland.
Quaintance was a man of many of talents - dancer; designer of stage sets, interiors and New York department store windows; he also designed women's make-up and hairstyles for Hollywood stars and New York socialites, and was a sought-after portrait artist. But George Quaintance's main contribution to Gay life and culture and the key to his true significance is his long career as a male physique photographer and, more especially, his extraordinary paintings, which are now highly collectible and hold a unique place in the story of Gay sensibility and imagery in the twentieth century.
Although now obscure, George Quaintance was one of the most influential figures in a unique American style of art and one of the most flamboyant and interesting Gay characters for four decades of the twentieth century.
1906 – African-American expatriate entertainer and actresss Josephine Baker was born (d.1975). She became a French citizen in 1937. Most noted as a singer, Baker also was a celebrated dancer in her early career. She was given the nicknames the "Bronze Venus" or the "Black Pearl", as well as the "Créole Goddess" in anglophone nations. In France, she has always been known as "La Baker."
Baker was the first African American female to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States (She was offered the leadership of the movement by Coretta Scott King in 1968 following Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, but turned it down), for assisting the French Resistance during World War II and being the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de Guerre.
In September 1939, when France declared war on Germany in response to the invasion of Poland, Baker was recruited by the Deuxième Bureau, the French military intelligence agency, as an "honorable correspondent". Baker worked with Jacques Abtey, the head of French counterintelligence in Paris. She socialised with the Germans at embassies, ministries, night clubs, charming them while secretly gathering information. Her café-society fame enabled her to rub shoulders with those in the know, from high-ranking Japanese officials to Italian and Vichy bureaucrats, reporting to Abtey what she heard. She attended parties and gathered information at the Italian embassy without raising suspicion.
On 30 November 2021, almost 50 years after her death, she was enrolled in the Panthéon in Paris, the first black woman to receive one of the highest honors in France. As her resting place is to remain in Monaco, a cenotaph will be installed in vault 13 of the crypt in the Panthéon.
In the book about her life, titled Josephine: The Hungry Heart written by her son and author Jean-Claude Baker, he states that she was involved in numerous Lesbian affairs, both while she was single and married, and he mentions six of her female lovers by name. Clara Smith, Evelyn Sheppard, Bessie Allison, Ada "Bricktop" Smith, and Mildred Smallwood were all African-American women she met while touring on the black performing circuit early in her career. She was also involved with actress Colette, and possibly with Caroline Dudley Reagan, who ran the Paris extravaganza La Revue Nègre. Not mentioned, but confirmed since, was her affair with Mexican artist Freda Kahlo. Baker wrote that affairs with women were not uncommon with Josephine throughout her lifetime.
1910 – Sir Wilfred Thesiger was a travel writer, explorer, photographer, and cult figure (d.2003). His most powerful emotional bonds were with young men. Indeed, his closest ties were with the companions on his famous journeys, indigenous men through whose eyes he sought to interpret the world.
Thesiger was born on June 3, 1910, in Abbysinia, where his father was British minister, to a well-connected, aristocratic British family. He grew up in the medieval-like imperial court at Addis Ababa. He was educated at Eton and Oxford.
After graduation from Oxford he accepted a position as an assistant district commissioner in the Sudan political service. He served in remote areas such as Darfur and the Sudd. Here he began his practice of "going native," traveling with indigenous people, dressing, eating, and seeing the world as they did.
During World War II, he earned the DSO for leadership in the battle against Italian forces in North Africa. He also served as adviser to Haile Selassie in Abyssinia.
After the war, Thesiger made his most famous journeys in the desert of Arabia. He was the first to explore the legendary Rub' al Khali or Empty Quarter fully. His later trek across the western sands from the Hadhramaut to Abu Dhabi has been described as "the last and greatest expedition of Arabian travel."
Thesiger's life was filled with adventure. He lived in places as diverse as Kenya, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan, always attempting to understand the perspectives of the natives in the colorful lands that he visited.
Although Thesiger acknowledged that he preferred the male physique to the female, he also stated that "Sex has been of no consequence to me, and the celibacy of desert life left me untroubled." Questions nevertheless remain about the nature of the relationships he enjoyed with his young companions and assistants, relationships that he claimed were the happiest of his life. When asked, in his 80s, if he was gay, he is said to have knocked the questioner down. Biographer Alexander Maitland discusses the obvious evidence of Thesiger's sexuality in the lovingly composed photographs of his Arab and African male travelling companions. "Furtive embraces and voyeuristic encounters", he notes, set the pattern of Thesiger's sexual life.
These companions and assistants were largely youths of exceptional good looks and hunting talent: Idris in Sudan; Faris in Syria; bin Ghabaisha, whom he compared to Hadrian's Antinous, and bin Kabina in Arabia, each of whom he lovingly photographed.
In the 1950s, a troupe of four teenaged Arabs, including the handsome Amara, lived with Thesiger in a floating reed hut where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet. They would massage him each evening, as was the tradition among the Marsh land Arabs of Iraq. Later, in Maralal, Kenya, he lived with Erope, Lawi, and Lopago, a bodyguard with whom he shared his bed.
Thesiger often had distinctly homoerotic interests. For example, he went out of his way to see Nuba wrestlers and the dancing boys of Marshland Iraq, and to photograph naked Turkana boys in Kenya. Commenting on the Nuer people of southern Sudan, he observed that Nuer young men went naked and dyed their hair gold with cow's urine, which, he averred, only added to their beauty.
Not at all squeamish about blood, he became a competent amateur doctor, performing ritual circumcisions on numerous young men who queued to go under his knife.
He achieved fame for his book Arabian Sands (1959), which defined him as the last of a particular kind of adventure traveller and established him as a travel writer of the first rank. It has been described as "probably the finest book ever written about Arabia and a tribute to a world now lost forever."
Thesiger spent his final years living with Lawi, who became his foster son, and various Samburu warrior neighbors in Kenya, lamenting the passing of his days of "barbaric splendour" and the purer desert life with the wonderful comradeship he experienced among Bedouins.
1918 – British actor known for his role on the British television sitcom Father, Dear Father Patrick Cargill was born (d.1996). Best known for his appearances on British television in the comedy series "Father Dear Father" (1968), Patrick Cargill was also a distinguished stage actor and a brilliant farceur. His immaculate timing was known throughout the profession to the point that when directors where casting a certain type of leading role they would refer to it as a "Patrick Cargill part".
Cargill made his stage debut in Bexhill on Sea, Sussex as a teenager before joining Anthony Hawtrey's company in London. Throughout the 1950s he was rarely off the West End stage in a string of farces and comedies, in many of which he played the leading role. In 1967 he was offered the television series, "Father Dear Father", especially written for him, in which he played a thriller writer and the inept father of two teenage daughters, played by Natasha Pyne and Ann Holloway. The series ran until 1973 and in 1976 he returned to television in "The Many Wives of Patrick" (1976), in which he appeared as a middle-aged playboy trying to divorce his sixth wife in order to remarry his first.
In 1978 he appeared on the London stage in a revival of Anthony Shaffer's thriller, "Sleuth", which was not well received by the critics on the grounds that with all his charm, Cargill's leading role lacked menace. In 1967 he was personally chosen by Charles Chaplin to play the role of Hudson, "a gentleman's gentleman" in the film, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). The two actors struck up a close friendship. A superb light comedian Cargill said "Comedy is instinctive. You know it's there but the moment you consciously search for it you're completely lost. Timing is a skill that you develop over the years. It gives you the necessary courage to wait - to pause while the audience gathers in anticipation."
In the later years of his life, Cargill lived in Henley with his last companion, James Camille Markowski. He died in Richmond, London, aged 77. He had been suffering from a brain tumour.
1926 – American poet of freedom Allen Ginsberg was born (d.1997). He was prophetic poet, best known for the seminal poem "Howl" (1956), celebrating his friends of the Beat Generation and attacking what he saw as the destructive forces of materialism and conformity in the United States at the time. The influence of Ginsberg's poetry on an entire generation was enormous. How Ginsberg and the other "beats" appeared to readers in the 50's, still wearing flats and dress shields and seven crinolines, is hard to reconstruct, much less imagine.
Allen Ginsberg (R) & Peter Orlovsky
In 1954 in San Francisco, Ginsberg met Peter Orlovsky, (7 years his junior) with whom he fell in love and who remained his life-long lover, and with whom he eventually shared his interest in Tibetan Buddhism.
Allen Ginsberg gave what is thought to be his last reading at The Booksmith in San Francisco on December 16, 1996. He died on April 5, 1997, surrounded by family and friends in his East Village loft in New York City, succumbing to liver cancer via complications of hepatitis. He was 70 years old. Ginsberg continued to write through his final illness, with his last poem, "Things I'll Not Do (Nostalgias)," written on March 30.
Ginsberg is buried in his family plot in Gomel Chesed Cemetery, one of a cluster of Jewish cemeteries in New Jersey. Though the grave itself and the cemetery are neither picturesque nor otherwise notable, there is a steady trickle of visitors as indicated by a handful of stones always on his marker and the occasional book or other item left by other poets and admirers.
1927 – George Hislop (d.2005) was one of Canada's most influential gay activists. He was the first openly gay candidate for municipal office in Canada, as well as the first openly gay candidate for any political office in Ontario (and only the second in Canada after Robert Douglas Cook), and was a key figure in the early development of Toronto's gay community.
Hislop studied speech and drama at the Banff School of Fine Arts, graduating in 1949. He subsequently worked as an actor, and ran an interior design company with his partner, Ron Shearer.
George Hislop & Ron Shearer
In 1971, Hislop cofounded the Community Homophile Association of Toronto, one of Canada's first organizations for gays and lesbians. On August 28, 1971, he also organized the first Canadian gay rights demonstration on Parliament Hill. He later played a significant role as a contact between one of the criminals and the police in the Emanuel Jaques murder case in 1977.
In 1980, Hislop ran for Toronto City Council. He won the support of then Mayor John Sewell, a move that contributed to Sewell's defeat. The Toronto police association openly campaigned against both Sewell and Hislop in the election. The following year, Hislop ran in the 1981 provincial election as an independent candidate in protest against the 1981 Toronto bathhouse raids. Hislop was himself charged as a result of these raids, as part-owner of the Barracks bathhouse. He placed fourth with 2,677 votes (9.3% of the total), a strong finish for an independent candidate.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, Hislop remained active as a business owner and activist.
In 2003, Hislop was nominated for the Order of Ontario by George Smitherman. Also that year, Hislop was one of several gay activists who launched a class action lawsuit against the federal government. The government had extended Canada Pension Plan benefits to the surviving same-sex partners of deceased pensioners as of 1998, but the change was not retroactive to earlier deaths. Shearer had died in 1986, making Hislop ineligible for survivor benefits.
The suit aimed to have retroactive benefits extended back to the 1985 inclusion of gay and lesbian equality rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On November 26, 2004, the lawsuit ended in victory for Hislop and his coplaintiffs, although the federal government subsequently filed a controversial appeal of the decision. The federal government lost this appeal on March 1, 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled in Hislop's favour.
Also in 2004, Hislop was the grand marshal of Toronto's Pride parade.
In 2005, Hislop was the first-ever recipient of the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association's Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Award in honour of his contributions to the advancement of LGBT equality in Canada, and was cited by federal New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton as an important influence on Layton's support of LGBT issues. In August of that year, Hislop received his first pension cheque under the 2004 court decision.
On October 9, the Toronto Star reported that Hislop, who had diabetes, Parkinson's disease and esophageal cancer, had died in hospital the previous day. In an obituary notice, Eye Weekly referred to Hislop as "the unofficial mayor of the Toronto gay community".
In October 2005, just one week after his passing, Hislop was posthumously awarded the inaugural Jonathan R. Steinert and Fernando G. Ferreiro Award, Canada's largest award for contributions to LGBT communities. The $12,500 award, established by the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal Foundation, would be given to Hislop's estate.
A park in the city's Church and Wellesley neighbourhood is also named in Hislop's honour.
1930 – American fantasy novelist Marion Zimmer Bradley was born (d.1999). The author of such classics as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook, she also wrote a gay-themed novel, The Catch Trap, about the love of two male trapeze artists, published 1979.
Born on a farm in Albany, New York, during the Great Depression, she began writing in 1949 and sold her first story to Vortex magazine in 1952. She was married to Robert Alden Bradley from October 26, 1949 until their divorce on May 19, 1964. They had a son, David Robert Bradley (1950-2008). During the 1950s she was introduced to the cultural and campaigning lesbian group the Daughters of Bilitis.
Early in her career, writing as Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter, and Lee Chapman, Marion Zimmer Bradley produced several works outside the speculative fiction genre, including some Gay and Lesbian pulp fiction novels. For example, I Am a Lesbian was published in 1962. Though relatively tame by today's standards, they were considered pornographic when published, and for a long time she refused to disclose the titles she wrote under these pseudonyms.
1937 – The American poet Paul Mariah was born on this date (d.1996). Born Paul Jones, the name Mariah was chosen by Paul when he moved to San Francisco after having served a prison sentence for consensual sex with a man in Texas. His prison experiences were cited as crucial to his personal and literary development.
Besides being an accomplished poet in his own right, he, along with his lover Ricahrd Tagett, also founded and published Manroot press in 1969, one the first presses dedicated solely to publishing Gay works of poetry, and a literary magazine with the same title. A dozen issues of the magazine appeared, along with 30 monographs. His enterprise published many leading writers of the time, including notable editions of such major poets as Jack Spicer, James Broughton, Robert Peters, and Thom Gunn. Mariah also issued bilingual editions of Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, and revived interest in the work of Robert Ingersoll, the 19th century agnostic, prison reformer and social critic who gave the eulogy at Walt Whitman's funeral. His own poetry appeared in two collections, Personae Non Gratae in 1971 and This Light Will Spread in 1978. He was also prominent in the movement for prisoners' rights.
1946 – James J. Gifford is an American educator, author, and literary critic. He has written and edited books on gay and lesbian issues in literature.
James J. Gifford was born in Rome, New York, United States. He is a son of Floyd C. Gifford, a building contractor, and Dorothy Gifford.
Gifford received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Fordham University in New York City in 1968. Two years later, he earned a Master of Arts from Columbia University. In 1994, he completed his studies at Syracuse University where he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
He began his career in 1972. He joined the professor’s staff of Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York as a professor of humanities.
Gifford has produced two anthologies of homosexual writing, ‘Dayneford's Library: American Homosexual Writing, 1900-1913’ and ‘Glances Backward: An Anthology of American Homosexual Writing, 1830-1920’.
1948 – The Kinsey Report on male sexuality is published, shocking the nation with its revelation of the high incidence of same-sex acts among American men.
1967 – The American reporter and newshost Anderson Cooper was born today. An Emmy Award winning American journalist, author, and television personality. He works as the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°.
He is the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the artist, designer, writer, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II of the prominent Vanderbilt Family of New York. His closeted public life contrasts deliberately with his mother's life spent in the spotlight of tabloid journalists and her publication of memoirs explicitly detailing her affairs with celebrities. Nevertheless, independent news media have reported that he is Gay, and in May 2007, Out magazine ranked him second among "The Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America."
He was awarded the 2001 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism for "High School Hero," his 20/20 Downtown report on high school athlete Corey Johnson, the co-captain of a Massachusetts high school football team who was the first high school athlete in the nation to come out publicly while still enjoying the support of his teammates, parents and coaches.
On July 2, 2012, however, he gave Andrew Sullivan permission to publish an email that stated, in part:
I've begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It's become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. ... The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
1969 –Tate Taylor is an American filmmaker and actor. Taylor is best known for directing The Help (2011), Get on Up (2014), and The Girl on the Train (2016).
Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, where he grew up. He worked for 15 years in New York City and Los Angeles. Though he debuted as a feature film director in Pretty Ugly People (2008), he was primarily an actor for most of his career, in films such as Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) and Winter's Bone (2010), and on television in series such as Charmed, Six Feet Under, and The Drew Carey Show.
Taylor achieved mainstream success when he directed the film The Help (2011), based on Kathryn Stockett's novel The Help. Stockett gave him rights to make the film adaptation in June 2008, before the book was published. In addition to receiving generally positive reviews, the film was a major commercial success, earning more than $200 million worldwide, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Tate Taylor has been nominated for and received industry awards including the 2013 Vail Film Festival Vanguard Award, the 2012 BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, the 2012 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, the 2012 Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, the 2012 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture and for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, and the 2011 Chicago Film Critics Association nomination.
Taylor next directed the James Brown biopic Get on Up (2014), which starred Chadwick Boseman. Though the film was a critical success, it commercially underperformed. His next project The Girl on the Train, an adaption of the book by Paula Hawkins, was released to mixed reviews from critics, but was a box office success.
In August 2018, Taylor was announced to be directing Jessica Chastain in action thriller film Ava. Taylor replaced original director Matthew Newton, who stepped down after controversy over allegations of domestic violence and assault.
In May 2019, Taylor released psychological horror film Ma, starring frequent collaborator Octavia Spencer. The film, produced by Jason Blum through his Blumhouse Productions banner, was a critical and commercial success. That same month, Fox ordered Taylor's first television project, Filthy Rich, to series. An American adaption of the New Zealand series starring Kim Cattrall, it premiered in September 2020 and was cancelled after one season
Taylor's most recent film is Breaking News in Yuba County, starring frequent collaborator Allison Janney.
Taylor is openly gay and is in relationship with producer John Norris.
1985 – Kayden Boche is a French model, actor, film director, cinematographer, music producer and songwriter — best known for starring in the Dior Addict fragrance campaigns Be Iconic and Eau Délice by Christian Dior alongside supermodel Daphne Groeneveld. He is also notable for appearing in editorials for Vogue, Jalouse, Spray Magazine, and walking the runway for Christian Dior, Prada, Kenzo, Francesco Smalto, Alexis Mabille, and more.
Boche was born on June 3, 1985 in Brest, France. His mother died at age 33 on February 24, 1994 – three weeks after giving birth to his younger sister. Boche was later placed in a foster family in 1999, after suffering repeated physical and emotional abuses over 5 years. He graduated from high school in 2004 and launched his international modeling career a year later.
Boche has produced several international recording artists including Jessica Lowndes, James Rendon, Angelika Vee, and French American Idol finalist Jérémy Amelin. He is the music video director and songwriter of Amelin's fourth single "Oh, Oh !"
On February 1, 2018, Boche publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in a post on his official Instagram — stating : "Yes, I am gay".
1989 – On this date the United States Postal Service issued the first "Lesbian and Gay Pride" postage stamp.
1999 – George Smitherman is elected in the Ontario provincial election, becoming Ontario's first openly gay MPP.
One of our members, "BJ", sent the following response to the item on George Hislop:
Good evening Ted,
Your post today made me both happy and sad.
I was most pleased to see my good friend George Hislop featured and sad that he had passed away.
From early on, George was very open and unashamed about his being gay and about his long "married" life with Ronnie, an unusual act back in those years. But then George wasn't an usual man either. He fought tirelessly through thick and thin for our rights and for our community. He was respected by friends and foes alike. He made people laugh. He made people stand up and take notice. By example, he gave a generation (and beyond) of gay people a sense of pride and respect in themselves and in their relationships. And for many, the courage to "come out". And through his survivor benefits lawsuit (that he won) validated uncounted gay relationships across our country… a further step to benefits equality. He was a force to be reckoned with.
During my business years in Toronto, George was a regular at both my bar and restaurant. His life was difficult financially in the last years of his life. But he was always welcome to come in for a drink or a meal whenever he wanted as a token of appreciation for all he had done during his life furthering our cause in Toronto and Canada. George being the man he was never wanted to take advantage.
It was always a treat being regaled by his many jokes and life stories and there were so many… of both! He was a wonderful unselfish man with a great heart and loved by thousands. Thank you for remembering him. And thank you George for all you have done for all of us! Gone but never forgotten.