The Daily Agenda for Thursday, October 25
October 25th, 2012
OutServe’s International Leadership Conference: Orlando, FL. OutServe, a worldwide 5,000-member association of actively-serving LGBT military personnel, will hold its second annual International Leadership Conference, and this yaer it will take place at the U.S. military’s own Shades of Green Resort in Orlando, Florida. The goal of the conference is it provide an international forum for building respect for LGBT people within the military, provide an opportunity for professional networking, sharing best practices, and developing strategies to support LGBT personnel and their families. OutServe will also host an job fair that will be open to veterans and employers. OutServe events will take place at various locations on Walt Disney World properties. The conference begins today and continues through Sunday.
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Taipei, Taiwan.
AIDS Walks This Weekend: Washington, DC.
Other Events This Weekend: MIX Copenhagen Film Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark; Florence Queer Film Festival, Florence, Italy; Halloween in New Orleans, New Orleans, LA; Side By Side LGBT International Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Claude Cahun: 1894. She was born Lucy Schwob in Nantes, France, but in 1919 she chose the gender-ambiguous name (in French) of Claude Cahun in keeping with her photographic self-portraits that she began making at the age of sixteen. Her self-portraits in different guises expressed a range of sexual self-expression, from the close-cropped hair and stubbled chin in her masculine appearance to the exaggerated femininity in china-doll perfection, to a range of androgyny inbetween. When surrealism became fashionable, she fit right in, declaring that she had “always been a surrealiste.”
In 1937, she and her stepsister/partner, Suzanne Malherbe moved to the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel, which would see Nazi occupation during the war. Cahun became active in the resistance by writing and distributing anti-German leaflets. She and Malherbe would sometimes dress up and attend German military events in Jersey, and sneak leaflets into soldiers’ pockets. They were arrested in 1944 and sentenced to death, but the sentences were never carried out. Much of Cahun’s photographic work, including plates and negatives, were destroyed with the army raided her home. While Cahun and Malherbe both survived the war, Cahun’s health had deteriorated due to her detention and she died in 1954.
Chely Wright: 1970. She had her first Top 40 Country in 1997 when “Shut Up and Drive,” peaked at Number 14. In 1999, she hit #1 in the U.S. and Canadian Country charts with “Single White Female,” from her album by the same name. Those successes however came during a rather complicated time in her personal life. Chely had been in a off-and-on committed relationship with a woman that she described as “the love of my life,” — even during a period when the woman had married a man during part of that time. They lived together during their final five years together, from about 1999 to 2004, despite both women being closeted and both of them believing that gay relationships were wrong.
In 2000, Chely’s already complicated life became even more so when she started an affair with fellow country singer Brad Paisley. She liked him, loved him even, but wasn’t in love with him. But, as she later wrote in her autobiography, “If I figured I’m going to live a less than satisfied life, this is the guy I could live with. If I’m gonna be with a boy, this is the boy.” But in the end, she she wound up with a lot of remorse over how she treated him, “I have a lot of regret for how that [relationship] began and had a middle and ended. I had no business being in a relationship with him.”
Beginning in 2004, she began coming out to members of her immediate family and close friends. In 2007, she finally decided to come out publicly when she began writing her autobiography, and with its 2010 release she was officially out, once and for all. In August 2011, Wright married LGBT rights advocate Lauren Blitzer in Connecticut. Wright herself has also become an LGBT advocate in founding The LikeMe Organization, which provides education scholarships for young LGBT advocates.
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