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Colin Higgins
Australian-American writer, director, and producer Colin Higgins (1941-1988) is best known for his screenplay of the cult classic Harold and Maude and for directing the more mainstream comedies Foul Play and 9 to 5.
 
 
Spotlight Lesbian and Bisexual Female Poetry before Stonewall
 
  Even though no canonical list of pre-Stonewall Lesbian Poetry exists, a significant number of women wrote and read a wide range of poems that expressed their sensibilities as woman-loving women.  
 
 
  Natalie Clifford Barney Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972), an American expatriate known as the Amazon, was the muse and inspiration of other writers and a poet, memoirist, and epigrammatist in her own right.  
 
 
  Katharine Lee Bates American poet, literary scholar, and educator, Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) is best known for her poem "America the Beautiful" and for her relationship with Wellesley College colleague Katharine Coman.  
 
 
  Aphra Behn Aphra Behn (ca 1640-1689), an English writer known to her contemporaries as a "scandal" for her writings and her flamboyant personal life, was one of the most influential dramatists of the late seventeenth century. Today, she is better known as a poet and novelist with a fascinating biography.  
 
 
  Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), who is widely acknowledged as one of the finest twentieth-century American poets, encoded a lesbian identity in her poems.  
 
 
  Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a reclusive American poet more appreciated after her death than before, wrote poems and letters to her sister-in-law Susan that are both passionate and elusive in their homoeroticism.  
 
 
  Hilda Doolittle Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), a bisexual poet and novelist who published under the initials H. D., wrote poems and autobiographical prose works that celebrate women's romantic relationships with each other.  
 
 
  Katherine Bradley (1846-1914) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913), writing as Michael Field, collaborated on a number of plays and eight volumes of verse, many of which had lesbian contents.  
 
 
  Elsa Gidlow (1898-1986), known to many as the "poet-warrior," was unabashedly visible as an independent woman, a lesbian, a writer, and a bohemian-anarchist at a time when such visibility was both unusual and potentially dangerous.  
 
 
  Angelina Weld Grimke Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958) was the first African American to have a play staged. In addition to that historic achievement, her poetry regularly appeared in journals, newspapers, and anthologies during the era now known as the Harlem Renaissance, though she faded into near obscurity after the 1920s.  
 
 
  Although Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943) is best known as the author of The Well of Loneliness, arguably the most famous lesbian novel ever written, she also wrote five volumes of poetry.  
 
 
  Amy Lowell Amy Lowell (1874-1925) was a poet, translator, essayist, literary biographer, and public speaker. Her poetry is extremely frank, forthrightly sensual, and often overtly lesbian.  
 
 
  Charlotte Mew Charlotte Mew (1869-1928), an English poet, does not explicitly mention her lesbianism but encodes the emotional pain of hiding her sexuality in complex dramatic monologues on themes of loss and isolation.  
 
 
  Edna St. Vincent Millay Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), an American poet and playwright, expressed her bisexuality in both her life and her work. She achieved fame early on in life as the pretty, petite "It Girl" of poetry, but was criticized for turning to social politics and activism starting in the 1930s.  
 
 
  Gabriela Mistral Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) was a Chilean educator, journalist, feminist, diplomat, and Nobel laureate who celebrated women and motherhood in poems and essays that are frequently homoerotic.  
 
 
  Sophia Parnok Sophia Parnok (1885-1933) was Russia's only openly lesbian poet during her lifetime. The lyrics in her first book of verse, Poems (1916), presented the first, revolutionarily nondecadent, lesbian desiring subject ever to be heard in a book of Russian poetry.  
 
 
  Geneviève Pastre (b. 1924), one of France's leading lesbian theorists and political activists, was a respected French poet and academic in her fifties when she came out as a lesbian and made radical lesbian feminism the root of her political and literary work.  
 
 
  Katherine Philips Katherine Philips (1632-1664) was called "The Matchless Orinda" and considered "The English Sappho" of her day. Two-thirds of her poems concern erotic relationships among women.  
 
 
  Adrienne Rich Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) has aestheticized politics and politicized aesthetics and is America's most widely read lesbian poet. Her work has won both fans and many critical accolades including the National Book Award.  
 
 
  Christina Rossetti Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was such a devout Anglo-Catholic that one doctor diagnosed her with "religious mania." Though her piety repressed her sexuality, she wrote poetry that included vividly erotic female-to-female affection.  
 
 
  Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) wrote poetry that broke the silence of many aspects of female experience such as sex, menstruation, breast-feeding, mother-daughter relationships, and female aging. Her work has been enormously important to many feminist and lesbian readers.  
 
 
  Vita Sackville-West Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) was a prolific author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, though she is best known for her relationship with Virginia Woolf and for her scandalous love affairs.  
 
 
  A representation of Sappho Sappho (ca 630? B.C.E.), an ancient Greek poet born on the Isle of Lesbos, has been admired through the ages as one of the greatest lyric poets. Today, she is esteemed by lesbians around the world as the archetypal lesbian and their symbolic mother.  
 
 
  May Sarton May Sarton (1912-1996), the author of more than forty books, gradually revealed her lesbianism in her writing. Sarton worked successfully in poetry, the novel, essays, and the journal.  
 
 
  Anna Seward Anna Seward (1742-1809) was one of the best known English women poets of her time. She had several romantic friendships with women and celebrated the Ladies of Llangollen in verse.  
 
 
  Edith Sitwell Edith Sitwell (1887-1964) was a poet and novelist who surrounded herself with gay men, some of whom became her artistic collaborators. Although it is not clear that she ever experienced a sustained sexual relationship with anyone of either sex, her closest emotional bond was with another woman.  
 
 
  Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), in addition to becoming--with Alice B. Toklas--half of an iconic lesbian couple, was an important innovator and transformer of the English language.  
 
 
  May Swenson (1913-1989), one of America's most inventive and incisive poets, wrote many love poems celebrating lesbian sexuality.  
 
 
  Sara Teasdale Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) reflected in her poetry the reality that the strongest emotional relationships in her life were with women.  
 
 
  Marina Tsvetaeva Maria Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) is widely considered one of the four greatest twentieth-century Russian poets. She described herself as bisexual, but the lesbian theme found throughout her poetry, prose, letters, and journals has been ignored or minimized by Western biographers and concealed by Russian scholars.  
 
 
  Renée Vivien (1877-1909), who had many affairs with women, openly celebrated lesboerotic love in her poetry and dreamed of women-controlled spaces in an era when most women were still domestically confined.  
 
 
  Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978), a poet, novelist, and short story writer, is an important lesbian voice of the earlier twentieth century.  
 
 
notable birthdays this week
July 27
 
Troy Perry Troy Perry
FOUNDER OF THE UNIVERSAL FELLOWSHIP OF METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCHES, 1940
Carol Leifer
COMEDIAN, ACTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER, AND ACTIVIST, 1956
 
July 28
 
Gerard Manley Hopkins Gerard Manley Hopkins
SEXUALLY REPRESSED ENGLISH POET WHO PRAISED MALE BEAUTY, 1844
Marcel Duchamp Marcel Duchamp
AN INFLUENTIAL 20th-CENTURY ARTIST WHO CREATED A FEMALE ALTER EGO, 1887
 
John Ashbery John Ashbery
A LEADING CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POET, 1927
Judy Grahn
MULTI-TALENTED LEADER OF THE GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT BOTH PRE- AND POST-STONEWALL, 1940
 
Colin Higgins
AUSTRALIAN-AMERICAN WRITER, DIRECTOR, AND PRODUCER, 1941
Sarah Schulman Sarah Schulman
AUTHOR AND PLAYWRIGHT CONCERNED WITH CONSTRUCTING LESBIAN IDENTITY, 1958
 
July 29
 
Dag Hammarskjöld Dag Hammarskjöld
ENIGMATIC FIGURE WHO BECAME THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, 1905
Paul Taylor Paul Taylor
AN IMPORTANT PRESENCE IN DANCE SINCE THE 1950s, 1930
 
July 30
 
Paula Martinac Paula Martinac
FICTION WRITER AND COLUMNIST WHOSE WORKS DOCUMENT LESBIAN CULTURE, 1954
Sean Patrick Maloney
OPENLY GAY MEMBER OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 1966
 
July 31
 
George "Chet" Forrest
COMPOSER AND LYRICIST WHO ADAPTED CLASSICAL MUSIC FOR STAGE MUSICALS, 1915
Barbara Gittings Barbara Gittings
PIONEER IN THE AMERICAN GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT, 1932
 
David Norris
SENATOR, SCHOLAR, AND A RESPECTED LEADER OF THE GLBTQ RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN IRELAND, 1944
Richard Rodriguez Richard Rodriguez
ESSAYIST, MEMOIRIST, AND SOCIAL COMMENTATOR, 1944
 
Ian Roberts
AUSTRALIAN RUGBY STAR WHO CAME OUT DURING HIS PLAYING CAREER AND LATER BECAME AN ACTOR, 1965
Sean Eldridge
ACTIVIST FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY, 1986
 
August 1
 
Herman Melville Herman Melville
AMERICAN NOVELIST WHOSE TEXTS REFLECT HIS HOMOSEXUALITY, 1819
Yves Saint-Laurent
ONE OF THE SEMINAL FASHION DESIGNERS OF OUR ERA, 1936
 
August 2
 
James Baldwin James Baldwin
AMERICAN AUTHOR OF ARTICULATE CHALLENGES TO RACISM AND MANDATORY HETEROSEXUALITY, 1924
 
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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Hillary Hall.

On July 29, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall to cease issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while it considers an appeal from the state's Attorney General. Hall has issued more than 200 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit struck down the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah on June 25. Hall had argued that although the Tenth Circuit ruling was stayed in Utah, that stay did not apply to Colorado.

In a 2-1 opinion issued on July 28, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Virginia's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The decision, authored by Judge Henry Floyd and joined by Judge Roger Gregory, found that Virginia's marriage laws "impermissibly infringe upon its citizens' fundamental right to marry." The ruling upholds the February decision of U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, who found that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

Deborah Harris.

On July 25, 2014, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled unanimously that same-sex partners are entitled to survivor benefits. The ruling came in Harris v. Millennium Hotel, a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal seeking survivor benefits for Deborah Harris, the same-sex partner of Kerry Fadely, who worked at Anchorage's Millennium Hotel and was shot and killed in 2011 by a disgruntled former employee. The Alaska Supreme Court reversed lower-level decisions that had upheld a state commission's denial of benefits on the grounds that such benefits would violate the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

On July 25, 2014, Miami-Dade County Judge Sarah Zabel struck down Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. In her decision in the case known as Pareto v. Ruvin, Judge Zabel wrote that Florida's marriage laws "improperly infringe upon the Plaintiffs' ability to exercise their fundamental right to marry the person of their choice, and upon their liberty interests regarding personal autonomy, family integrity, association, and dignity. They also unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation." Finding that the ban violates the due process and equal protection guarantees of the United States Constitution, Judge Zabel ordered Miami-Dade County to allow same-sex couples to marry, but stayed her order pending an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

Tracy Baim.
On July 23, 2014, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) announced that Tracy Baim, Lisa Keen, and Donna Cartwright will be inducted into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame. In addition, BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner will be honored as Journalist of the Year and the Huffington Post's Lila Shapiro will receive the Sarah Pettit Memorial LGBT Journalist of the Year Award. Awards for excellence will be presented in various media categories. The honors and awards will be presented at the association's annual meeting in August.

On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed an executive order banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors. He also amended the existing executive order banning discrimination by the federal government on the basis of sexual orientation and other characteristics to include protections for gender identity.

On July 18, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. In a long and complex decision focusing on arcane issues of standing and the question of animus, the Denver-based court ruled 2-1 that Oklahoma's ban violates the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. The same three-judge panel also ruled 2-1 on June 25 that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

William Lee Jones and Aaron Huntsman.

On July 17, 2014, Monroe County Judge Luis Garcia struck down Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. In a case brought by a Key West couple, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who sued when they were denied a marriage license by the Clerk of Court of Monroe County, Judge Garcia ruled that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage violated the equal protection and due process protections of the United States Constitution. He said that marriage is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual and that includes the right to marry a person of one's own sex.

Michael Sam.

Congratulations to Michael Sam on receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPY Awards, held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, on July 14. After a moving video, Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL, was presented the award by Dwayne Johnson and then, fighting back tears, delivered an emotional acceptance speech.

Billy Bean.

On July 15, 2014, before the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Major League Baseball announced that it has appointed former Dodger outfielder Billy Bean an Ambassador for Inclusion and that it is posthumously honoring former Dodger Glenn Burke as a gay pioneer.

 
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