Today in LGBT History – NOVEMBER 9

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Today in LGBT History – NOVEMBER 9

1928, UK – Obscenity trial for the classic novel The Well of Lonelinessby Radclyffe Hall (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) begins. The book portrays lesbianism as natural. The star witness for the defense, Norman Haire, testifies that one could not become homosexual by reading books any more than one “could become syphillic by reading about syphilis.”

1947 – Kate Clinton (born November 9, 1947) is an American comedian specializing in political commentary from a gay/lesbian point of view. She began her stand-up career in 1981 using her lesbianism, Catholicism and current politics for her jokes. Clinton is a self-described “fumerist,” or feminist humorist. She has lived in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner Urvashi Vaid(born 8 October 1958)  since 1988. 

1952 – John Megna (November 9, 1952 – September 4, 1995) was an American actor. His best known role is that of “Dill” in the film To Kill A Mockingbird. Megna died from AIDS-related complications in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 42.

1955 – Actor Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) marries his agent’s secretary Phyllis Gates to squelch rumors about his sexual orientation, rumors which were unknown to Gates. Suspiciion, Gates hired  private eye Fred Otash. Hudson was an American actor, generally known for his turns as a leading man during the 1950s and 1960s. Viewed as a prominent “heartthrob” of the Hollywood Golden Age, he achieved stardom with roles in films such asMagnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows(1955) and Giant (1956), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and found continued success with a string of romantic comedies co-starring Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). After appearing in films including Seconds (1966), Tobruk (1967) and Ice Station Zebra(1968) during the late 1960s, Hudson began a second career in television through the 1970s and 1980s, starring in the popular mystery series McMillan & Wife and the primetime ABCsoap opera Dynasty.In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson’s secret homosexuality. Willson stalled this by disclosing information about two of his other clients. Willson provided information about Rory Calhoun‘s (August 8, 1922 – April 28, 1999) years in prison and the arrest of Tab Hunter(July 11, 1931 – July 8, 2018)at a party in 1950.According to some colleagues, Hudson’s homosexual activity was well known in Hollywood throughout his career, and former co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James claimed that they knew of his homosexuality, as did Carol Burnett.Shortly before his death from AIDS-related complications, Hudson made the first direct contribution, $250,000, to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, helping launch the non-profit organization dedicated to AIDS/HIV research and prevention; it was formed by a merger of a Los Angeles organization founded by Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, Hudson’s physician, and Elizabeth Taylor, his friend and onetime co-star, and a New York-based group.

1975, Canada – The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission rules that “sex” in the Human Rights Act includes sexual orientation and begins formal proceeding against University of Saskatchewan for discriminating against teacher Doug Wilson who had been fired after coming out.

1985 – Openly gay Terry Sweeney (born March 23, 1950) joins the cast of Saturday Night Live.Terry Sweeney’s partner is Lanier Laney (born March 18, 1956), a comedy writer who also wrote for SNL in the 1985–1986 season. According to a 2000 magazine article, they first met as members of a sketch comedy troupe called the “Bess Truman Players” before joining SNL. Laney and Sweeney were also writing partners for Saturday Night Live during the 1985–1986 season, the film Shag, and the Syfy Channel cartoon Tripping The Rift. As of 2012, the couple reside in Beaufort, South Carolina.

2016 – Kate Brown (born June 21, 1960) is sworn in as governor of Oregon, the day after she was officially elected to the office. She is bisexual and is the country’s first openly bisexual statewide officeholder and first openly bisexual governor. Brown took over the governorship in February, 2016, without an election after Democrat John Kitzhaber resigned amidst a criminal investigation. She is the 38th and current Governor of Oregon. Brown, a Democrat and an attorney, previously served as Oregon Secretary of State and as majority leader of the Oregon State Senate, where she represented portions of Milwaukie and of Northeast and Southeast Portland. Brown lives in Portland, with her husband Dan Little. She has two stepchildren, Dylan and Jessie. Brown was re-elected to a full term as governor on Nov. 6, 2018.

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(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm,, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)

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