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Today in LGBT History – August 29
1844, UK – English writer Edward Carpenter (August 29, 1844 – June 28, 1929) was born in Brighton. He was an English socialist poet, philosopher, anthologist, and early activist for rights for homosexuals. On his return from India in 1891, he met George Merrill, a working class man 22 years his junior, and the two men struck up a relationship, eventually cohabiting in 1898. Their relationship endured and they remained partners for the rest of their lives, a fact made all the more extraordinary by the hysteria about homosexuality generated by the Oscar Wilde(16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) trial of 1895. An early advocate of sexual freedoms, Carpenter had an influence on both D. H. Lawrence(11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930)and Sri Aurobindo(15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950), and inspired E. M. Forster‘s(1 January 1879 – 7 June 1970)novel Maurice.
1956 – Dancer and choreographer Mark Morris (August 29, 1956) is born in Seattle, Washington. He founded his own award-winning dance troupe. He is openly gayand lives in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. On November 28, 1980, he got together a group of his friends and put on a concert of his own choreography and called them the Mark Morris Dance Group. For the first several years, the company gave just two annual performances – at On the Boards in Seattle, Washington,and at Dance Theater Workshop in New York. In 1986, the company was featured on the nationally televised Great Performances – Dance in America series on PBS. In 1990, Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov established the White Oak Dance Project. He continued to create works for this company until 1995. In 2013, Morris was the first choreographer and dancer to be the Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival.
1969 – Me’Shell NdegéOcello is born Michelle Johnson (August 29, 1968). She became a widely respected, openly bisexual singer, songwriter, and bassist and the first female artist to be signed by Madonna’s Maverick label. Ndegeocello is bisexual and previously had a relationship with feminist author Rebecca Walker. Ndegeocello’s first son, Solomon, was born in 1989. As of 2011 she had been married to Alison Riley for five years, with whom she has a second son.
1987, Mexico – The First National Conference of Lesbians is held in Guadalajara to unite the lesbian movement in Mexico in anticipation of Feminist Lesbians of Latin America and the Caribbean Conference. The result is the creation of the National Coordination of Lesbians.
1993 – Twenty-nine people stage a silent demonstration at St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY to protest Brooklyn Roman Catholic bishop Thomas Daily’s pastoral letter opposing anti-gay bias laws.
1997 – Jim McKnight discusses his research on the gay gene on the BBC program Science Now. His research group at the University of Western Sidney studied the families of homosexuals and discovered that evidence exists to suggest that homosexuality is an inherited trait.
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(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, DataLounge.com, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm, out.com, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at email@example.com. Thanks!)