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Gösta Adrian-Nilsson
Regarding his sexuality as a fundamental component of his creativity, Swedish painter Gösta Adrian-Nilsson (1884-1965), known as GAN, fostered the development of modernist art in his native country.
 
 
Darren Star
Responsible for such pop culture touchstones as Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and Sex and the City, writer-director-producer Darren Star (b. 1961) has had a prolific career in television.
 
 
Lilli Vincenz Lilli Vincenz
Veteran activist Lilli Vincenz (b. 1937), who commenced her activism before Stonewall, also collected thousands of documents about the movement for glbtq rights; donated to the Library Congress, they provide scholars an invaluable resource.
 
 
Spotlight Romantic Friendship
 
  Romantic friendship, an intimate and sometimes sexual relationship between same-sex friends, has long been a part of Western culture and is often celebrated in its literature.

Before the advent of the twentieth century, Female Romantic Friendships were largely perceived as normal and socially acceptable. Male Romantic Friendships have not been as widely accepted, but literary works from ancient epics and Elegies and Pastorals to modern war movies and Westerns celebrate intimate relationships between men.

 
 
 
  Jane Addams Jane Addams (1860-1935) was an American reformer, social worker, peace activist, and Nobel Laureate remembered as the founder of Hull House in Chicago. She had at least two long-term same-sex relationships that can be characterized as romantic friendships.  
 
 
  Aelred of Rievaulx Aelred of Rievaulx (ca. 1110-1167) was an English abbot who developed a typology of friendship that separated spiritual, utilitarian, and carnal relationships with a particular emphasis on avoiding carnality. He cultivated "spiritual" friendships with young monks at his abby, though his relationship with the beautiful young monk Simon bears all the hallmarks of romantic friendship.  
 
 
  Susan B. Anthony Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) is best known for her crusade for women's suffrage, but she spoke out on a broad range of feminist issues including temperance, property and custody rights, divorce laws, and educational and employment opportunities for women. Anthony enjoyed romantic friendships with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other women.  
 
 
  Boston Marriages--romantic unions between women that were usually monogamous but not necessarily sexual--flourished in the late nineteenth century. The term was coined in New England, around the time that numerous women's colleges such as Vassar, Smith, and Wellesley emerged.  
 
 
  The Ladies of Llangollen Lady Eleanor Butler (1739-1829) and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831), known as the Ladies of Llangollen, are an enduring emblem of female romantic friendship.  
 
 
  Lord George Gordon Byron George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) was a poet and major celebrity known for a libertine lifestyle and risqué poetry in the England of his day. The bisexual writer pursued romantic friendships with young men throughout his brief life.  
 
 
  Rachel Carson Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was a marine biologist who helped found the environmental movement with her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson enjoyed an eleven-year romantic relationship with Dorothy Freeman, a married woman.  
 
 
  Willa Cather Willa Cather (1873-1947) was one of America's premier literary artists in the earlier twentieth century. She reflected her own lesbianism in the creation of strong women characters and in the exploration of male homosexuality. For nearly forty years, Cather shared her life with Edith Lewis.  
 
 
  Marie Corelli Marie Corelli (1855-1924) was a popular English novelist now known chiefly as a camp figure who inspired E. F. Benson's Lucia, a character on whom he based several novels. From 1876 until her death, Corelli lived with Bertha Vyver, who served as housekeeper, nurse, confidant, and intimate friend.  
 
 
  Charlotte Cushman Charlotte Cushman (1816-1876) was one of the most famous actresses of her day, enjoying success on the stage in both the United States and Britain. Cushman, who had a series of sometimes tempestuous intimate relationships with several women, lived in a committed relationship with sculptor Emma Stebbins from 1857 until Cushman's death.  
 
 
  Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote several poems and letters that expressed the sentiments of romantic friendship and hint at homoeroticism. Much of her romantic ardor appears to have been directed toward Susan Gilbert Dickinson, her sister-in-law.  
 
 
  Marie Dorval Marie Dorval (1798-1849) was a popular nineteenth-century French actress who enjoyed an intense romantic friendship with the writer George Sand that fueled much speculation among Parisian gossips of the time, as well as among later biographers and historians.  
 
 
  Dutch Friendship Glasses Dutch Friendship Glasses were made on order to celebrate friendship in the eighteenth century, an era when sodomy was often punished with brutal public executions in the Dutch Republic. The glasses may also have covertly celebrated same-sex sexual desire.  
 
 
  Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930) wrote many short stories characterized by passionate devotion between women. "Two Friends" and "The Long Arm," two of the most important lesbian nineteenth-century lesbian stories, illustrate the climate of the time and place in which life-long partnerships between women were lived with community acceptance and support.  
 
 
  Harriet Hosmer Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908), an American sculptor, was among a handful of successful women artists in the nineteenth century. She frequently scandalized the polite society of her day by her mannish dress and adventurous behavior. Her most intense relationship was with Louisa Ashburton, a Scottish noblewoman.  
 
 
  Henry James Henry James (1843-1916), the famous American-born nineteenth-century novelist and playwright, had a number of romantic and possibly sexual relationships with young men. His passion for other men imbues his fiction; and his novel The Bostonians explores a Boston Marriage.  
 
 
  Sarah Orne Jewett Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) is a major figure in the literature of female romantic friendship and a prolific writer who produced fifteen novels for adults as well as several books for children. She experienced romantic friendship first-hand in her own Boston Marriage, which lasted from the early 1880s until her death.  
 
 
  Frances Alice Kellor Frances Kellor (1873-1952) was a progressive activist and intellectual who is today best known for having led the Americanization movement that greeted the Ellis Island generation of immigrants from 1906 to 1921. She maintained a Boston Marriage with fellow activist Mary Dreir that lasted 47 years.  
 
 
  Herman Melville Herman Melville (1819-1891), the author of Moby Dick (1851), expressed his homosexuality in male-male romantic relationships that occur frequently in his stories. Melville often used intimate male friendship as part of his broader critique of American imperialism.  
 
 
  John Milton John Milton (1608-1674), perhaps the greatest poet in the English language, wrote several poems that suggest that he had a relatively enlightened view of same-sex intimacy. His intense friendship with his boyhood friend Charles Diodati could be described as a romantic friendship.  
 
 
  Florence Nightingale Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is famous as the mother of modern nursing. She was a tough reformer who fought for her right to a career and an individual identity in the stifling atmosphere of Victorian England. Nightingale, who sometimes referred to herself as "a man of action," enjoyed the company of powerful men and was probably celibate, but she also had several important passionate friendships with women.  
 
 
  Plato Plato (427-327 B. C. E.), the ancient Greek philosopher, created many works that celebrate male-male love. Male romantic friendship is the subject of The Symposium and The Phaedrus.  
 
 
  Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) was one of nineteenth-century Britain's most ambitious imperialists. Throughout his adult life, he conducted romantic friendships with younger male associates.  
 
 
  Eleanor Roosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was an important advocate for the poor and oppressed and one of the most influential women in the world. She had strong attachments to women throughout her life. Some probably included sexual intimacy.  
 
 
  George Sand George Sand (Amantine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin, 1804-1876) is as infamous for her cigar-in-hand cross-dressing as she is famous for her eighty novels, twenty plays, and numerous political tracts. Her sapphic love for Marie Dorval, a famous Parisian actress and lover of Alfred de Vigny, seemed to go unnoticed amidst her many affairs with men.  
 
 
  Sarah Scott (1723-1795) was an eighteenth-century English novelist who challenged the sex-gender system of her society and claimed narrative authority for women loving women. In her personal life, including her long-term romantic friendship with Lady Mary Lumley, Scott found an alternative to the ruthlessly limited possibilities available to women in the eighteenth century.  
 
 
  William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (1564-1616) included closely bonded female pairs and intimate male-male relationships in many plays and in The Sonnets.  
 
 
  Emma Stebbins Emma Stebbins (1815-1882) is remembered for sculpture produced in a ten-year period between 1859 and 1869. While studying sculpture in Rome, she met and fell in love with actress Charlotte Cushman with whom she lived from 1857 until Cushman's death in 1876.  
 
 
  Alfred Lord Tennyson Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), who was Poet Laureate during much of the reign of Queen Victoria, wrote In Memoriam, the most beautiful homoerotic elegy in the English language, which meditates on his romantic friendship with Arthur Hallam.  
 
 
  M. Carey Thomas M. Carey Thomas (1857-1935) was one of the most prominent American educators of the early twentieth century. Thomas shared her home with Mamie Gwinn while serving as the second president of the women-only Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, a relationship that lasted until Gwinn married in 1904.  
 
 
  Virgil Virgil (70-19 B. C. E.) was a Roman poet and writer who wrote approvingly of male-male love in many of his works. The Aeneid offers the ancient world's most poignant account of male romantic friendship in the story of Nisus and Euryalus.  
 
 
  Lillian Wald Lillian Wald (1867-1940), an American public health nurse and social reformer, is the model of a Victorian-era lesbian active in the Settlement House Movement. Though Wald drew almost all of her support from close female friends and used the language of romantic friendship when corresponding with many, she is not known to have established a long-term romantic attachment to any single woman.  
 
 
  Evelyn Waugh Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), a major twentieth-century English author, treated homosexuality paradoxically, depicting some of his homosexual characters sympathetically and subjecting others to homophobic abuse. The most memorable romantic friendship in his work is that between Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited.  
 
 
  Walt Whitman Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet who celebrated an ideal of manly love in both its spiritual and physical aspects. He figured male romantic friendship as the basis for a revitalized American democracy.  
 
 
  Anne Whitney Anne Whitney (1821-1915) was a Boston sculptor who, as a woman in a male-dominated field, struggled for equality, chose subjects--abolitionists, feminists, and blacks--that reflected her liberal political and social beliefs. She is said to have lived in a Boston Marriage with painter Abby Adeline Manning.  
 
 
notable birthdays this week
April 20
 
George Takei George Takei
TELEVISION AND FILM ACTOR AND GLBTQ RIGHTS ACTIVIST, 1937
Katherine V. Forrest Katherine V. Forrest
WRITER AND EDITOR WHO BROUGHT LESBIAN FICTION TO THE FOREFRONT OF THE ROMANCE, MYSTERY, AND SCIENCE FICTION GENRES, 1939
 
Andrew Tobias Andrew Tobias
FINANCIAL WRITER, TREASURER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AND AUTHOR OF THE COMING OUT CLASSIC THE BEST LITTLE BOY IN THE WORLD, 1947
Toller Cranston
CANADIAN PAINTER AND FIGURE SKATER, 1949
 
Rotimi Fani-Kayode
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE LATE 20TH-CENTURY, 1955
Glenn Ligon
AFRICAN-AMERICAN MIXED-MEDIA ARTIST WHOSE WORK EXPLORES RACE AND GENDER, 1960
 
April 21
 
Muriel Inez Crawford Muriel Inez Crawford
PIONEERING LESBIAN-FEMINIST PUBLISHER, 1914
John Cameron Mitchell John Cameron Mitchell
PERFORMER, WRITER, AND FILMMAKER BEST KNOWN FOR THE FILM HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, 1963
 
Alice Wu
SCREENWRITER AND DIRECTOR OF INDEPENDENT FILMS, 1970
 
April 22
 
John Waters John Waters
DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER, AND PHOTOGRAPHER WHO FIRST BECAME WELL KNOWN IN THE 1970s, 1946
 
April 23
 
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare
A KEY FIGURE IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION WHO STANDS IN A FIERCELY CONTESTED RELATIONSHIP WITH HOMOSEXUALITY, 1564
James Buchanan James Buchanan
THE ONLY "BACHELOR PRESIDENT" OF THE UNITED STATES, 1791
 
Dame Ethel Smyth Dame Ethel Smyth
THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPOSER OF EARLY 20TH CENTURY ENGLISH MUSIC, 1858
Halston
THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL FASHION SUPERSTAR, 1932
 
Alex Sanchez Alex Sanchez
INSIGHTFUL AUTHOR OF GAY-THEMED BOOKS FOR TEENS, 1957
 
April 24
 
Jean-Paul Gaultier
FASHION DESIGNER WHO DRAWS ON STREET AND CLUB STYLES, 1952
John Epperson John Epperson
ACTOR AND WRITER WHOSE MOST FAMOUS CHARACTER IS LYPSINKA, 1955
 
April 25
 
Edward II, King of England Edward II, King of England
ENGLISH KING WHOSE INTENSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH MALE FAVORITES COST HIM HIS LIFE, 1284
Andy Bell Andy Bell
OPENLY GAY HALF OF THE SYNTH-POP DUO ERASURE, 1964
 
April 26
 
Gertrude "Ma" Rainey Gertrude "Ma" Rainey
A POWERFUL FORCE IN AMERICAN BLUES, 1886
Ludwig Wittgenstein
ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THINKERS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, 1889
 
Gale Wilhelm
AUTHOR WHO PUBLISHED TWO NOVELS THAT PRESENTED LESBIANISM UNAPOLOGETICALLY IN THE 1930s, 1908
Conrad Susa
AMERICAN COMPOSER KNOWN FOR HIS OPERAS AND CHORAL MUSIC, 1935
 
About Notable Birthdays
This feature lists people about whom glbtq.com has both entries and complete birth dates. Each person listed has made a significant contribution to or had a significant impact on glbtq culture or history. Most are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, though some are either heterosexual or cannot be adequately characterized using any of these labels.
 
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Scout leader Geoffrey McGrath.

On April 17, 2014, following attempts to pressure an openly gay scoutmaster to step down and then the church which sponsors the troop to fire him, the Boy Scouts of America revoked the charter of a church-sponsored troop. The decision bars the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church and its 15 scouts from using logos, uniforms, and names associated with the Boy Scouts as long as the troop is led by scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath. The decision also reignites the controversy over the organization's contentious policy on homosexuality.

The stamp, which was designed by art director Antonio Alcalá, centers on a photograph of Milk taken by Daniel Nicoletta.

A press release from the United States Postal Service issued on April 21, 2014 announced that the Harvey Milk commemorative stamp is now available for pre-order. The "forever" stamp will be issued on May 22, the anniversary of the martyred gay rights leader's birth, which California celebrates as "Harvey Milk Day."

Still from a video of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus performing "Testimony."

The stories of Easter and Passover are stories of triumphing over adversity, of overcoming hatred and contempt. As such, they speak in powerful ways to glbtq people, whether they are religious or not. In observance of these holidays, we again want to call attention to the powerful composition by Stephen Schwartz inspired by the "It Gets Better" project and performed by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Timothy Seelig.

On April 17, 2014, the same three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that heard the Utah marriage equality case a week ago convened in Denver to hear the Oklahoma marriage equality case. As they had in the Utah case, the panel, consisting of Judges Carlos Lucero, Jerome A. Holmes, and Paul J. Kelly Jr., again appeared divided in sympathy as they considered the case of Bishop v. Smith.

Charles Cooper at a Proposition 8 press conference.

A forthcoming book about the legal battle over Proposition 8, the amendment that banned same-sex marriage in California from November 5, 2008 until June 28, 2013, reveals that Charles Cooper, the attorney who defended the measure, learned that his step-daughter is gay as the case wound through the appellate process. Moreover, Cooper is now helping plan his step-daughter's Massachusetts wedding to a woman in June.

One of several stamps honoring Tom of Finland. Courtesy Itella.

On April 13, 2014, Itella, the Finnish postal service, announced that in September it will issue a series of stamps featuring the art of Tom of Finland, who created some of the most indelible--and erotic--images of twentieth-century gay life and fueled the fantasies of innumerable gay men. Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991), an advertising illustrator, adopted the soubriquet Tom of Finland as a pseudonym in 1956 when he began submitting erotic drawings to the American bodybuilding magazine, Physique Pictorial.

Kimberly and Amber Leary are among the parents whose families are affected.

The attempt by the Attorney General of Utah to block the adoptions of children by married same-sex couples is gratuitous cruelty and gives the lie to his claim in arguments before the Tenth Circuit that Utah's ban on the recognition of same-sex marriage has nothing to do with animus.

A supporter of same-sex marriage.

On April 10, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals convened in Denver to hear arguments in the case of Kitchen v. Herbert, the challenge to Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. Although questions posed during the oral argument of an appellate case are not necessarily a good indicator of how individual judges will ultimately vote, the judges appeared to be sharply divided in sympathy. Most observers of the hearing predicted that the panel is likely to rule in favor of marriage equality on a 2-1 split, with Judges Carlos Lucero and Jerome A. Holmes ruling in favor of the plaintiffs and Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. deciding in favor of the defendants.

Derrick Gordon.

Congratulations to University of Massachusetts guard Derrick Gordon on becoming the first Division I NCAA college basketball player to come out while still playing. Gordon, a 6'3" sophomore who started for all 33 UMass games this year, came out to his teammates on April 2, 2014. The news was revealed on April 9 by Outsports.com and ESPN.

"Wilbert Hines" (1977) by George Dureau. Image courtesy Higher Pictures.

New Orleans artist George Dureau died on April 7, 2014 as a result of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Best known for his male figure studies and narrative paintings in oil and charcoal and for his black-and-white photographs, which often feature street youths, dwarfs, and amputees, Dureau was notably versatile and worked in a number of media.

 
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