In an absorbing POV essay, Jim Elledge explains how he became fascinated with the work of acclaimed but misunderstood artist Henry Darger (pictured) and devoted ten years researching and writing Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist to prove that he was not a pedophile, sadist, or murderer, but rather a gay man who survived sexual and physical abuse.
One of the most influential ballet dancers of his time, Jock Soto (b. 1965) has been instrumental in shaping the role and identity of the contemporary male dancer.
|Lesbians and Sports|
|Lesbians and athletics have been identified with each other since long before the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion alerted mainstream straight America that there was a large queer minority in its midst. Despite that long history, many Lesbians in Sports continue to face homophobia and other obstacles today.|
|Bodybuilding includes many lesbians and gay men both as athletes and consumers of the physical culture and entertainment products the sport sponsors. The important role of lesbians and gay men in the sport is more often denied than recognized.|
|Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) is a lesbian poet and novelist best known for the highly successful novel Rubyfruit Jungle. Her novel Sudden Death, which looks at life within the women's tennis circuit, was inspired by her relationship with tennis star Martina Navratilova.|
|Marion Barbara "Joe" Carstairs (1900-1993) was a colorful gender-bending figure of the twentieth century who first gained fame as a speedboat racer in the 1920s.|
|Mildred "Babe" Didrikson (1911-1956) was one of the greatest women athletes in history. Despite all of her triumphs, she was taunted by charges of "mannishness" and "unnaturalness."|
|Frontrunners is an international confederation of gay, lesbian, transgendered, and gay-friendly runners, joggers, power walkers, strollers, rollerbladers, and sometimes bicyclists of all abilities. The group takes its name from novelist Patricia Nell Warren's The Front Runner.|
|The Gay Games is a quadrennial sporting and cultural event designed for the glbtq community that has become a lucrative attraction for host cities.|
|Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943) lived her lesbianism openly and proudly. She is best known for The Well of Loneliness, arguably the most important lesbian novel ever written. Stephen, the protagonist in The Well, exhibited her lesbianism by engaging in traditionally masculine activities including sports.|
|Rosie Jones (b. 1959) is a successful amateur and professional golfer who scored thirteen victories on the LPGA tour from 1987 to 2003. Since coming out in 2004, she has helped increase glbtq visibility in sports.|
|Although Frances Kellor (1873-1952) is best known as a progressive activist who led the early twentieth-century Americanization movement, she also enthusiastically promoted women's athletics.|
|Billie Jean King (b.1943) helped transform the world of professional tennis. She denied her lesbianism in the 1980s, but in 2000 became the first openly lesbian coach of an Olympic team.|
|Amélie Mauresmo (b. 1979) is the first professional tennis player since Martina Navratilova to come out publicly as a lesbian, and one of the few elite athletes to come out while still competing. She has almost twenty tournament titles to her credit.|
|Martina Navratilova (b. 1956) is one of the greatest tennis players in history and has become an outspoken supporter of lesbian and gay rights.|
|Diana Nyad (b. 1949) is a long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator who has spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.|
|The Outgames brought together more than half a million glbtq people and allies when they were first held in Montreal in 2006. Even though the Outgames were born of controversy and lost millions of dollars at the Montreal event, evidence suggests that their future is bright.|
|Patty Sheehan (b. 1956) is a Hall of Fame golfer who continues to excel on the LPGA Legends tour. Sheehan came out as a lesbian in 1998 at the height of her career.|
|Lesbian Sports Literature is a surprisingly small literary genre. Despite the high representation of lesbians in women's sports, sports and sportswomen have played a minor role in lesbian literature.|
|Sheryl Swoopes (b. 1971) is a basketball star and three-time Olympic champion who publicly came out as a lesbian and acknowledged her committed relationship with another woman in 2005.|
|Diane Whipple (1968-2001), the coach of the women's lacrosse team at Saint Mary's College in California, was killed in a dog-mauling in 2001. In response, her partner, Sharon Smith, helped establish the right of same-sex partners to equal treatment with heterosexuals.|
ENIGMATIC MONARCH WHOSE "MANNISH" WAYS SHOCKED EUROPE, 1626
NONFICTION WRITER BEST KNOWN FOR EXPLORING THE PLEASURES OF THE HEDONISTIC LIFE, 1868
PERHAPS THE GREATEST POET IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, 1608
ART HISTORIAN WHO DEVELOPED AN AESTHETIC ROOTED IN HIS HOMOSEXUALITY, 1717
NOTED POET WHOSE WORK AND LETTERS WERE BOTH PASSIONATE AND ELUSIVE IN THEIR HOMOEROTICISM, 1830
SOUTH AFRICAN-BORN POET AND NOVELIST, 1903
JAPANESE AMERICAN EDUCATOR AND LEGISLATOR, 1970
STAR OF FRENCH MOVIES, THEATER, AND TELEVISION, 1913
RHYTHM AND BLUES SINGER AND SONGWRITER, 1926
PROLIFIC WRITER AND EDITOR, 1945
ONE OF THE BEST KNOWN ENGLISH WOMEN POETS OF HER GENERATION, 1742
DRAG PERFORMER AND ACTIVIST WHO EXEMPLIFIED GAY PRIDE, 1923
WRITER, ARCHIVIST, THEORIST, AND THE FOUNDER OF THE ITALIAN GAY MOVEMENT, 1945
ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS TRANSSEXUAL CELEBRITIES ALIVE TODAY, 1964
TWENTY YEAR OLD WHO WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED BECAUSE OF HIS GENDER NON-CONFORMITY, 1972
NONCONFORMIST WRITER WHO DESCRIBED LESBIAN LIFE IN WEIMAR GERMANY, 1878
A PIONEER IN EUROPEAN GAY WRITING, 1923
FRENCH JOURNALIST AND NOVELIST WHO WROTE SEMI-FICTIONALIZED ACCOUNTS OF HIS STRUGGLE WITH AIDS, 1955
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.
Congratulations to Chai Feldblum, whose nomination to a second term as a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 12, 2013. Feldblum is the first openly gay person to serve on the commission, which enforces federal laws against workplace discrimination.
In a unanimous ruling released on December 12, 2013, Australia's High Court has invalidated the Australian Capital Territory's same-sex marriage law. In the process, it nullified the 27 same-sex marriages that took place in the interim between the effective date of the law (December 7) and the release of the ruling.
In advance of a demonstration scheduled for December 12, 2013 at NBC headquarters, Queer Nation New York has released a stunning video criticizing the network, the International Olympic Committee, and American corporate sponsors for their "jive talk" about the Sochi Winter Games and their lack of concern regarding Russia's ongoing pogrom targeting its glbtq citizens.
Congratulations to Edith Windsor, who was designated "second runner-up" for Time's annual "Person of the Year" honor. Pope Francis was predictably chosen for the title, but "unlikely activist" Edith Windsor was recognized for the judicial odyssey that began in 2010, when she sued the government for a $363,053 refund of the estate taxes she had to pay when her spouse died, and that culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling of June 26, 2013 that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
In a shocking decision issued on December 11, 2013, India's Supreme Court reinstated the nation's ban against "carnal intercourse against the order of nature." The Court overruled the New Delhi Court's 2009 decision that had declared unconstitutional Section 377 of the penal code written by the British in 1860. The Supreme Court said that only Parliament could repeal the Section, violation of which can be punished by up to ten years in prison.
On December 10, 2013, President Obama spoke at the memorial service for his great South African hero Nelson Mandela. Lauding Mandela as a "giant of history" who emerged as the "last great liberator of the twentieth century," Obama compared Mandela to Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and presented him as both a man of action and a man of ideas. The President also used the occasion as a teachable moment, reminding the world-wide audience that "we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love."
In a fascinating article in the December 7, 2013 New York Times, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Times opinion-page writer who recently received a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard, asks the question, "How Many Americans Are Gay?" It is an old question and one not amenable to an easy answer. What distinguishes this article from many others that have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to answer the same question is the new techniques used in researching it.
On December 6, 2013, in a sold-out concert hall in Moscow, Elton John defied the Russian law prohibiting "gay propaganda." He denounced the legislation itself, calling it inhumane and isolating, and dedicated the concert to Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old gay man who was murdered earlier this year in Volgograd, one of many victims of the anti-gay pogrom currently underway in Russia.
Happy anniversary to Washington state. The state's marriage equality law took effect on December 6, 2012. One year later, more than 7,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot in the state. Same-sex marriages comprise 17% of the 42,000 marriages performed in the state during the period.
One day after a suit against Washington-based BNSF Railway was filed by two employees who were denied health benefits for their same-sex spouses, on December 4, 2012, the rail company coalition that bargains with 13 labor unions announced that they would begin offering the benefits effective January 1, 2014. The National Railway Labor Conference said in a statement, "The nation's largest freight carriers will provide dependent health care coverage to eligible same-sex spouses of covered railroad employees."