The Daily Agenda for Friday, May 3
May 3rd, 2013
AIDS Walks This Weekend: Anaheim, CA; Atlantic City / Asbury Park / Morristown / Newark / Ridgewood, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Ft. Wayne, IN.
Other Events This Weekend: Hot Rodeo, Banning, CA; Boston LGBT Film Festival, Boston, MA; Frieberg Gay Film Festival, Frieberg, Germany; Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Miami, FL; Urban Bear Weekend, New York, NY; Sitges International Bear Meeting, Sitges, Spain; Tybee Gay Days, Tybee Island, GA.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Sr. Francis Bacon Accused of “His Most Abominable and Darling Sin”: 1621. On May 3, 1621, Sir Simonds D’Ewes published his political biography of Sir Francis Bacon, in which he accuses the great lawyer, scholar and “father of empiricism” of “his most abominable and darling sin.” D’Ewes continued, “I should rather bury in silence than mention it, were it not a most admirable instance of how men are enslaved by wickedness and held captive by the devil.” D’Ewes accused Bacon of “keeping still one Godrick, a very effeminate-faced youth, to be his catamite and bedfellow… deserting the bed of his Lady.” That same year, Bacon resigned as Lord Chancellor over accusations that he accepted payment from litigants, which, while against the law, was a widespread and accepted practice at the time. He quickly confessed to accepting payments, a confession that may have been prompted by threats to charge him with the capital offense of sodomy.
Medical Report of a Gay Civil War Veteran: 1921. Dr. Clarence P. Oberndorf, a New York City psychoanalyst, spoke at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Society of the State of New York in Brooklyn about one of his patients, a 74-year-old Civil War veteran who suffered from depression, saying “For sixty years I have been leading a double life.” He became aware of his feelings for other men at a very early age. “He preferred rough, coarse men, like longshoremen, husky and full of vitality. These he sought at intervals, while his acquaintances knew him as a refined gentleman interested in art and literature.” He never married. “In my younger days,” he remarked, “I used to grieve because of my affliction, but in later years I have become indifferent.”
Oberndorf’s goal was not to cure homosexuality per se. “Where treatment is undertaken for passive homoerotism in the male,” — active homosexuals, or “tops,” were not considered truly homosexual in the early 20th century — “psychoanalysis may powerfully influence the attitude of the patient toward his malady by removing some of the urgent neurotic fears which accompany the inversion. After analysis such an invert at least feels himself more reconciled to his passive homoeroticism than previously. I have had male passive homoerotics seek treatment with just such stipulations — not to be cured but to be made more content with their lives.”
[Source: Clarence P. Oberndorf. “Homosexuality.” New York Medical Journal 22, no. 4 (April 1922): 176-180. Available online here.]
MCC Wins Federal Grant to Resettle Gay Refugees: 1981. The Rev. Elder Freda Smith, vice moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church, announced that the gay church had been awared a $380,000 grant from the Reagan Administration to resettle gay Cuban refugees who were currently being housed in four reception centers across the country. Rev. Smith said the church had already resettled nearly 500 gay Cubans who had arrived during the previous year during the Mariel boatlift that brought 127,000 refugees to southern Florida. The gay refugees had additional motives for joining the boatlift: “Gays are looked down in Cuba because homosexuality runs against the macho attitudes in the country,” Rev. Smith added.
Rev. Smith said that federal officials authorized the grant because the MCC was better equiped to resettle gay refugees than other groups. “We are an idea whose time has come,” she said. She also reveald that the church itself would front another $100,000 toward the effort.
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And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?