LGBT History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. Among early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee were Kevin Jennings of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kevin Boyer of Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives in Chicago; Paul Varnell, writer for the Windy City Times; Torey Wilson, Chicago area teacher; Johnda Boyce, women's studies major at Columbus State University and Jessea Greenman of UC-Berkeley. Many gay and lesbian organizations supported the concept early on. In 1995, the National Education Association indicated support of LGBT History Month as well as other history months by resolution at its General Assembly.
I was asked to celebrate this month with a special post, and I found the right topic:
Axel Axgil and Eigil Axgil were Danish gay activists and a longtime couple. They were the first gay couple to enter into a registered partnership anywhere in the world following Denmark's legalisation of same-sex partnership registration On October 1, 1989. They adopted the shared surname, Axgil, a combination of their given names, as an expression of their commitment. The Axgils had been a couple for 40 years. Eigil Axgil died in 1995 at the age of 73. Axel Axgil died on October 29, 2011 at the age of 96.
And with them, as who follows this journal well know, there were many, that I'd like to celebrate with you, so please, enjoy these Platinum (more than 75 years together), Diamond (more than 60), Emerald (more than 55), Gold (more than 50) couples!
Mazo de la Roche & Caroline Clement: Mazo de la Roche was the author of the Jalna novels, one of the most popular series of books of her time. At the age of seven, Mazo de la Roche's parents adopted her orphaned younger cousin Caroline Clement, who joined in her fantasy world game and would become her lifelong companion. The two lived a fairly reclusive life; their relationship was not discussed widely in the press. In 1931 they adopted two children whose parents were friends of Clement and de la Roche and who had died. Together from 1886 to 1961: 75 years.
Glenway Wescott & Monroe Wheeler: Upon receiving a small printing press as a gift from his father, Monroe Wheeler began producing chap books of poetry under the imprint, Manikin Press. One of his first works was The Bitterns, a collection of poems by Glenway Wescott, whom he had met in Chicago in 1919 and who would become Wheeler's long-time companion. Monroe Wheeler died in Manhattan on August 14, 1988 at the age of 89, 18 months after the death of Glenway Wescott. They were together for 68 years. Together from 1919 to 1987: 68 years.
Bruhs Mero & Gean Harwood: The Oldest Gay Couple in America tells the moving and, at times, frightening story of Bruhs Mero (February 15, 1911 - August 10, 1995) and Gean Harwood (1909 - 2006), as they journey through the gay and lesbian scene of New York City from 1927 to the present. Covering Harwood's childhood, their professional life in the arts, the fear and repression of the McCarthy era, and their triumphant "coming out" in the eighties, this is an intimate look at the strife and joy of two lives intertwined. Together from 1929 to 1995: 66 years.
Jan Morris & Elizabeth Tuckniss: In 1949, Jan Morris married Elizabeth Tuckniss; they had five children together, including the poet and musician Twm Morys. Male at birth, Morris began medical transition in 1964. In 1972, Morris traveled to Morocco to undergo sex reassignment surgery because doctors in Britain refused to allow the procedure unless Morris and Tuckniss divorced. They divorced later, but remained together and on 14 May 2008 were legally reunited into a civil partnership. (Picture: Jan Morris and her son, Twm Morys). Together from 1949 to 2013 (and counting): 64 years.
Jack Fontan & Ray Unger: In 1992 Kathryn Turner and Bivens Hunt were at Laguna Beach City Hall to register as a couple under the city's new domestic-partners ordinance. When Ray Unger and Jack Adams Fontan moved to Laguna Beach in 1956, it was a little seaside village of about 8,000 people. "This is long overdue, we already have legal protection for each other, but we thought it was a good idea to set an example for the young folks. We don't like the idea of them growing up thinking there is something wrong with them." Together from 1950 to 2013 (and counting?): 63 years.
Max Gundy & Jack D. Bloch: In the early-to-mid 1930s Max Gundersheimer met Jack D. Bloch, a fellow New Yorker. Bloch held a series of jobs in a variety of occupations until 1942. He served with the U.S. Army in Europe from March 1942 to October 1945. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Gundersheimer, who went by the name Max Gundy as early as 1944, became involved in the Communist party and other progressive causes. Gundy and Bloch both died in 1996, within three months of each other, after more than 60 years together. Together from (before) 1935 to 1996: 61 years.
Edith Hamilton & Doris Fielding Reid: Edith Hamilton was a German-American educator and author who was recognized as the greatest woman Classicist. She was 62 years old when The Greek Way, her first book, was published in 1930. Hamilton dedicated the book to her companion of over 60 years, Doris Fielding Reid. Doris Fielding Reid was a stockbroker and former student of Hamilton's. After her death, in 1963, Doris Fielding Reid published the book Edith Hamilton: An Intimate Portrait. Doris died 10 years later in Lenox Hill, New York. Together from (before) 1903 to 1963: 60 years.
Eric Marcoux & Eugene Woodworth: Eric Marcoux and Eugene Woodworth celebrated 60 years together on June 13, 2013. When they met in Chicago, Woodworth was a ballet dancer, and Marcoux was just leaving a Trappist monastery. At the time, they always answered Yes when people asked them if they were brothers. Now when people ask, Marcoux says, No, but thank you for asking, because I am able to tell you that I love this man. Eric Marcoux and Eugene Woodworth celebrated their 50th year anniversary with a public recommitment ceremony. Together from 1953 to 2013 (and counting): 60 years.
David Watmough & Floyd St Clair: David Watmough (born 17 August 1926) is a Canadian playwright, short story writer and novelist. His partner of 58 years was Floyd St Clair, one of BC's giants of the gay liberation movement, died on January 4, 2009, at the age of 78. "I've been very cherished by having Floyd's love poured over me," said Watmough. "He's the greatest thing that ever happened to me." "His legacy, I think, is his absolute refusal to live in some little nook or niche," Watmough said. "He wanted the whole world." Together from 1951 to 2009: 58 years.
Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon: Dorothy Louise Taliaferro "Del" Martin and Phyllis Ann Lyon were an American lesbian couple known as feminist and gay-rights activists. They were a couple until Del Martin's death in 2008. Martin and Lyon met in 1 950, became lovers in 1952, and moved in together on Valentine's Day 1953 in an apartment on Castro Street in San Francisco. They founded the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco in 1955. They were married on June 16, 2008 in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco. Together from 1952 to 2008: 56 years.
Janet Flanner & Solita Solano: Janet Flanner was a novelist, translator, and journalist, best known for her fortnightly "Letter from Paris," which she wrote for the New Yorker from 1925 to 1975. Flanner had an affair with Edith WHARTON, but Solita Solano, a well-known writer and drama critic for the New York Tribune, was her greatest love. They remained close for over sixty years. Another long-term lover was Natalia Danesi Murray, an Italian-born radio broadcaster who later became vice president of Rizzoli publishers. Together from 1919 to 1975: 56 years.
Natalie Clifford Barney & Romaine Brooks: The longest and most important relationship of Romaine Brooks's life was with Natalie Clifford Barney, whom she met around the start of World War I. Barney was an American-born writer who hosted a l iterary salon on Paris's Left Bank. She was avowedly nonmonogamous; when they met she was already in a close longterm relationship with Duchess Elisabeth de Clermont-Tonnerre, which would last until the Duchess' death in 1954. Romaine had many other relationships of varying length and devotion as well. Together from 1914 to 1970: 56 years.
Tove Jansson & Tuulikki PietilÃ¤: Tove Marika Jansson was a Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author. Briefly engaged in the 1940s to Atos Wirtanen, she later during her studies met her future life partner Tuulikki PietilÃ¤. The two women collaborated on many works and projects, including a model of the Moominhouse, in collaboration with Pentti Eistola. This is now exhibited at the Moomin museum in Tampere. Jansson is best known as the author of the Moomin books for children. Together from (before) 1945 to 2001: 56 years.
Alan Shayne & Norman Sunshine: Alan Shayne retired as President of Warner Brothers Television in 1986. Norman Sunshine was a successful magazine illustrator in New York who went on to be a painter and sculptor whose works are in museums and in important collections. Upon the two men meeting in New York in 1958, "We didn't want to live together" says Shayne. "We didn't have any examples of what a good love relationship between two men could be. And there was always the problem of hiding so no one would know we were gay.â€ Together from 1958 to 2013 (and counting): 55 years.
George Kelly & William Weagley: George Kelly was an American playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He became best known for his satiric comedies. George Kelly maintained a 55-year relationship with his William Weagley up until his death and was often referred to as his valet. That Kelly was gay was a closely guarded secret and went unacknowledged by his family to the point of not inviting Weagley to his funeral; he instead slipped in and sat on a back seat, weeping quietly and completely ignored. He died a year later. Together from 1919 to 1974: 55 years.
Jean Acker & Chloe Carter: Jean Acker was an American actress with a career dating from the silent film era through the 1950s. She was perhaps best known as the estranged wife of Rudolph Valentino. After divorcing Valentino in 1923, Acker met Chloe Carter, a former Ziegfeld Follies girl with whom she would remain for the rest of her life. The couple owned an apartment building together in Beverly Hills. Acker died of natural causes in 1978 and is buried next to Carter in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Together from 1923 to 1978: 55 years.
E.J. Dent & Clive Carey: Edward Joseph Dent, generally known by his initials as E. J. Dent was a British writer on music. His closest friends were Lawrence Haward and J. B. Trend, but he began a close friendship with Clive Carey in 1902 which continued until Edward Dent's death. Clive Carey was a organ scholar at Clare College. Edward Dent wrote him over four hundred letters during their friendship. Another friend was E. M. Forster who represented him as the character Philip Herriton in Where Angels Fear To Tread. Together from 1902 to 1957: 55 years.
Mary Emma Woolley & Jeannette Augustus Marks: Mary Emma Woolley (July 13, 1863 - September 5, 1947) was an American educator, peace activist and women's suffrage supporter. She was the first female student to attend Brown University and served as the 11th President of Mount Holyoke College from 1900-1937. Woolley, the president of Mt. Holyoke College from 1900-1937, met Professor Jeannette Augustus Marks (1875-1964) while they were both teaching at Wellesley College. The two remained in a relationship for fifty-five years. Together from 1892 to 1947: 55 years.
Anna Freud & Dorothy Burlingham: Dorothy Burlingham became Anna Freud's life partner and companion, although the sexual nature of their intimacy remains unclear. Burlingham moved to Vienna in 1925 to begin her work in psychoanalysis. She and Anna Freud became close friends and began their life-long collaboration on developing children's therapies and psychoanalysis. Burlingham preceded Freud in death by three years, and her absence from Freud's life was extremely difficult for the surviving partner. Together from 1925 to 1979: 54 years.
Edward Field & Neil Derrick: Edward Field is an American poet and author. He and his partner Neil Derrick, long-time residents of Greenwich Village, have written a best-selling historical novel about the Village, The Villagers. Field has lived upstairs the Westbeth art gallery, 55 Bethune Street, since 1972. He and Derrick, together since 1959 "with a two-year hiatus when we broke up, and then we straightened out our heads" are a familiar sight in Greenwich Village, walking together, Neil's hand on Edward's shoulder. Together from 1959 to 2013 (and counting): 54 years.
Siegfried Fischbacher & Roy Horn: Siegfried & Roy are a German-American duo of former entertainers who became known for their appearances with white lions and white tigers. They met in 1959 when they both found work on a German ocean liner. According to the 2000 Becky Celebrity 100 List, Siegfried & Roy were then the 9th-highest-paid celebrities in the U.S., coming in just behind motion picture producer and director Steven Spielberg. They have worked together for almost five decades, sharing a residence in Las Vegas. Together from 1959 to 2013 (and counting): 54 years.
Horst P. Horst & Valentine Lawford: Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann (August 14, 1906 - November 18, 1999) who chose to be known as Horst P. Horst was a German-American fashion photographer. He met Valentine Lawford, British diplomat in 1938 and they would live together as a couple until Lawford's death in 1991. They adopted and raised a son, Richard J. Horst, together. One of the great iconic photos of the Twentieth-Century is "The Mainbocher Corset" with its erotically charged mystery, captured by Horst in Vogue Paris studio in 1939. Together from 1938 to 1991: 53 years.
Rudolf Brazda & Edouard Mayer: Rudolf Brazda was the last known concentration camp survivor deported by Nazi Germany on charges of homosexuality. Brazda spent nearly three years at the Buchenwald concentration camp. After the liberation Brazda settled in Alsace, in May 1945 and lived there for the rest of his life. In the early 1950s Brazda met Edouard "Edi" Mayer, who became his life companion. He tended to Edi for over 30 years after Edi was crippled by a severe work accident, until his death in 2003. Together from 1950 to 2003: 53 years.
William M. Wynkoop & Roy Strickland: Roy Strickland and William Wynkoop marching proudly down Fifth Avenue during 1985 Gay Pride Parade. William and Roy celebrated at Fedora's on their 43 anniversary, where they happily told a dinner companion how they had fallen in love. William, a retired professor, worried for Roy, since they were not legally married and he couldn't pass him his retirement. They both died in 2003, 2 months apart, William 87 years old and Roy 85 years old, after living together for more than 53 years. Together from 1950 to 2003: 53 years.
Duane Michals & Frederick Gorree: Duane Michals (born February 18, 1932) is an American photographer. Michals's work makes innovative use of photo-sequences, often incorporating text to examine emotion and philosophy. Michals grew up in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and currently lives in NYC. Michals has been in a relationship with his partner, architect and vice president of Gramercy Neighborhood Associates Frederick Gorree, since 1960. Though he has not been involved in gay civil rights, his photography has addressed gay themes. Together from 1960 to 2013 (and counting): 53 years.
Rosa Bonheur & Nathalie Micas: Rosa Bonheur, born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur (1822 - 1899) was a French animaliÃ¨re, realist artist, and sculptor. She lived for over forty years with her childhood friend Nathalie Micas (1824-1889), whom she met in 1936. In the final year of her life she became close with Anna Klumpke and figured out a way in order to leave Klumpke her estate. Referring to Micas, Princess Stirby once commented, "Rosa Bonheur could never have remained the celebrated artist she was without someone beside her." Together from 1836 to 1889: 53 years.
Alice Austen & Gertrude Tate: Elizabeth Alice Austen (March 17, 1866 - June 9, 1952) was a Staten Island photographer. In 1899 Alice met Gertrude Amelia Tate (1871-1962) of Brooklyn, New York. She became Alice's lifelong companion. Gertrude moved in with Alice at Clear Comfort in 1917. Clear Comfort was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark on April 8, 1976, one month after the 110th anniversary of Alice's birth. It is also known as "Alice Austen House" and is located in the Rosebank neighborhood. Together from 1899 to 1952: 53 years.
Gore Vidal & Howard Austen: Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. In 1950, he met his long-term partner Howard Austen. Vidal once reported that the secret to his lengthy relationship with Austen was that they did not have sex with each other: "It's easy to sustain a relationship when sex plays no part and impossible, I have observed, when it does." Austen died in November 2003 and, in February 2005, was buried in a plot for himself and Vidal at Rock Creek Cemetery. Together from 1950 to 2003: 53 years.
Beverley Nichols & Cyril Butcher: Beverley Nichols was an author, playwright, journalist, composer, and public speaker. In 1932 he began to live with the actor Cyril Butcher, and their relationship lasted 53 years, until Nichols's death; Nichols's pleas for sexual tolerance were unusually vocal for the period, and are found throughout his writings. A trilogy written between 1951 and 1956 documents his travails renovating Merry Hall, a Georgian manor house in Agates Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, where Nichols lived from 1946 to 1956. Together from 1930 to 1983: 53 years.
Gian Carlo Menotti & Samuel Barber: Samuel Barber was an American composer. He is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century; music critic Donal Henahan stated that "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim." He entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he met Gian Carlo Menotti, who became his partner in life as well as in their shared profession. Gian Carlo Menotti supplied the libretto (text) for Barber's opera, Vanessa. Together from 1929 to 1981: 52 years.
Thom Gunn & Mike Kitay: Thom Gunn, born Thomson William Gunn (29 August 1929 - 25 April 2004), was an Anglo-American poet. In 1954, Thom Gunn emigrated to the US to teach writing at Stanford University and to remain close to his partner, Mike Kitay, whom he had met while at college. Gunn taught at the University of California at Berkeley from 1958 to 1966 and again from 1973 to 1990. In 2004, he died at his home in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco, in the same bed he shared with Mike Kitay since 1960. Together from 1952 to 2004: 52 years.
Arthur Laurents & Tom Hatcher: Arthur Laurents (July 14, 1917 - May 5, 2011) was an American playwright, stage director and screenwriter. Laurents wrote Original Story By Arthur Laurents: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood, published in 2000. Tom Hatcher was an aspiring actor whom Gore Vidal suggested Arthur Laurents seek out at the Beverly Hills men's clothing store Hatcher was managing at the time. The couple remained together for 52 years until Hatcher's death on October 26, 2006. Together from 1954 to 2006: 52 years.
Eleanor Charlotte Butler & Sarah Ponsonby: Rather than face the possibility of being forced into unwanted marriages, Lady Eleanor Charlotte Butler & Honorable Sarah Ponsonby ran away together in April 1778. Their families hunted them down and forcefully tried to make them give up their plans - in vain. They set up home at Plas Newydd, near the town of Llangollen in 1780. Butler and Ponsonby lived together for the rest of their lives, over 50 years. Their books and glassware had both sets of initials and their letters were jointly signed. Together from 1778 to 1829: 51 years.
Richard Plant & Oskar Seidlin: Richard Plant (1910-1998) was a German-American writer. He is said to have written, in addition to the works published under his own name, several detective novels or Kriminalromane, with Dieter Cunz and Oskar Seidlin (1911-1984, under the collective pen-name of Stefan Brockhoff. Upon the accession of the Nazis to power in Germany in 1933 and the enforcement of the Paragraph 175 against homosexuality, he was obliged to leave Germany for Switzerland in concert with his partner, Oskar Seidlin. Together from (before) 1933 to 1984: 51 years.
Peter Glenville & Hardy William Smith: Peter Glenville was an English film and stage actor and director. In 1945, Glenville met Hardy William Smith. They became professional and life partners, Glenville as director and Smith as producer of plays both in London and New York. Smith was the humbler and quieter of the two. One friend said Glenville, a Catholic, was against any kind of flamboyant behavior, and "was as strict as a bishop of Boston." It was also suggested that his live-in relationship with Bill was platonic. Together from 1945 to 1996: 51 years.
Elsa Maxwell & Dorothy "Dickie" Fellowes-Gordon: Elsa Maxwell's most notable achievements were the extravagant parties she threw for her friends in the worlds of art, science, politics, royalty, and society. She also hosted Elsa Maxwell's Party Line on national radio and wrote a widely read newspaper column. Her constant companion, lover, and friend of fifty years was socialite Dorothy Fellowes-Gordon, affectionately referred to as "Dickie.â€ Maxwell left her entire estate (which amounted to less than $10,000 after all those parties) to Dickie. Together from 1913 to 1963: 50 years.
J.C. Leyendecker & Charles Beach: Joseph Christian "J.C." Leyendecker (March 23, 1874 - July 25, 1951) was one of the pre-eminent American illustrators of the early 20 century. Leyendecker lived for most of his life with Charles Beach, the Arrow Collar Man, on whom the stylish men in his artwork were modeled. Leyendecker left a tidy estate equally split between his sister and Beach. Leyendecker is buried alongside parents and brother Frank at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York. Charles Beach's burial location is unknown. Together from 1901 to 1951: 50 years.
Mary Renault & Julie Mullard: In 1933, Mary Renault began training as a nurse at Oxford's Radcliffe Infirmary. During her training, she met Julie Mullard, a fellow nurse with whom she established a life-long romantic relationship. She and Mullard emigrated to South Africa, where they remained for the rest of their lives. There, according to Proud, they found a community of gay expatriates who had "escaped the repressive attitudes towards homosexuality in Britain for the comparatively liberal atmosphere of Durban." Together from 1933 to 1983: 50 years.
Otis Bigelow & Thierry Mahe: Otis Bigelow was "the best-looking man in Manhattan in 1940, the one who had chosen a beautiful sailor over a suntanned millionaire", only to be betrayed by the beautiful sailor with the same suntanned millionaire, and the one who inspired Gordon Merrick to write the first "happily ever after" Gay Romance. Otis M. Bigelow died on October 6, 2007, as reported in the classified obituary section of The New York Times. He was survived by Thierry Mahe, his life partner of more than 50 years. Together from 1957 to 2007: 50 years.
Maurice Sendak & Eugene Glynn: Maurice Sendak was an American illustrator and writer of children's books. He was best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963. Sendak mentioned in a September 2008 article in The New York Times that he was gay and had lived with his partner, psychoanalyst Dr. Eugene Glynn, for 50 years before Glynn's death in May 2007. Revealing that he never told his parents, he said, "All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew." Together from 1957 to 2007: 50 years.
Paul Danquah & Peter Pollock: Peter Pollock was an English steel heir. Guy Burgess met him in Cannes in 1938, and they were lovers for about a decade. Burgess recruited Pollock to help MI5 spy on foreigners in England. In 1955 Pollock and his later long-term companion, Paul Danquah, a lawyer and actor, began sharing their Battersea flat with Francis Bacon, who lived with them until 1961 and became an intimate friend. Pollock and Danquah afterwards settled in Tangier, where, for a time, Pollock ran a beach bar, The Pergola. Together from 1951 to 2001: 50 years.
Kermit Love & Christopher Lyall: Kermit Love was an American puppeteer, costume designer, and actor in children's television and on Broadway. He was best known as a designer and builder with the Muppets, in particular those on Sesame Street. Love died on June 21, 2008, of congestive heart failure, in Poughkeepsie, New York. He had lived in Stanford, New York. He is survived by Christopher Lyall, his partner of 50 years. Love worked with many of the great figures of mid-century Broadway and American ballet. Together from 1958 to 2008: 50 years.
Nobuko Yoshiya & Monma Chiyo: Nobuko Yoshiya was a Japanese novelist active in Taishō and Showa period of Japan. On January 1923, Yoshiya met Monma Chiyo, a mathematics teacher at girls' school in Tokyo. They would go on to have a same-sex relationship for over 52 years. Unlike many Japanese public persona, she was not reticent about revealing details of her personal life through photographs, personal essays and magazine interviews. In 1926, they established a collaborative working relationship of author and secretary. Together from 1923 to 1973: 50 years.
Nancy Cook & Marion Dickerman: Nancy Cook (August 26, 1884 - August 16, 1962) was an American suffragette, teacher, part owner of the Todhunter School and an intimate of Eleanor Roosevelt. She taught first at Fulton, New York, where she taught art and handicrafts to high school students from 1913 to 1918. It was here that she again met Syracuse classmate Marion Dickerman, who taught arts and handicrafts at the same School. These two women become lifelong partners, spending almost their entire adult lives together. Together from (before) 1912 to 1962: 50 years.
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