The Daily Agenda for Saturday, August 10

Jim Burroway

August 10th, 2013

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Antwerp, Belgium; Eugene/Springfield OR; Fargo/Moorhead ND/MN; Glasgow, UK; Hampton Roads, VA; Indianapolis IN (Black Pride); Mannheim, Germany; Moscow, ID; Reykjavick, Iceland; Rochester, NY (Black Pride); Santa Ana, CA; Swindon, UK; Wakefield, UK; Windsor, ON.

AIDS Walk This Weekend: Denver, CO.

Other Events This Weekend: World Outgames, Antwerp, Belgium; Rainbow Days At Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta, GA; Northalsted Market Days Street Fair, Chicago, IL; Rendezvous LGBT Campout, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming; Toronto Leather Pride, Toronto, ON.

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY:
125 YEARS AGO: Transman Discovered In Iowa Prison Hospital: 1888. A regular column in the nineteenth century journal The Medical Standard included a roundup of items submitted by doctors from each of the 38 states, several territories and a number of Canadian provinces. Many of the notices amounted to little more than gossip: the practice of a “voodoo doctor” in Georgia, a doctor in Illinois who was charged with criminal assault “by a hysterical female,” a “magnetic healer” in Kentucky “who is is ‘curing’ hypochondriacs and hysterical females in great numbers at Bowling Green” — women are almost universally “hysterical” in these notices. You get the picture. Anyway, the journal’s editor found this case in Iowa worth mentioning:

A case of sexual perversion has been discovered in the Ft. Madison penitentiary. A woman from her early youth had dressed in male attire, was universally regarded as a man, married and lived with a woman as a husband. She was recently arrested for horse-stealing and sent to the penitentiary; in the hospital of which her sex was discovered.

[Source: “State Items.” The Medical Standard 4, no. 2 (August 1888): 58-63. Available online at Google Books here.]

He’s 420 in dog years.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS:
60 YEARS AGO: Mark Doty: 1953. “I’ve always been a poet who wrote about urban life because I love the layers and surprises and the jangly complexities of cities,” he once said. “I feel at home in cities, being a gay man. It’s a place of permission and possibility.” He is the author of several collections of poetry, notably his 1995 award-winning Atlantis, which was inspired by his partner’s death from AIDS the year before. 1997’s Heaven’s Coast: A Memoir also chronicles his partner’s diagnosis, illness and death, as well as Doty’s grief afterwards. Another memoir, Dog Years, is about two dogs that Doty had acquired as companions for his dying partner. The book is not only about the character of his dogs, and also about “everything we cannot talk about,” as one reviewer put it. In the end, the book was less about how Doty took care of his partner and the dogs, but of how the dogs took care of him. It is truly a dog-lover’s love song.

In 2008, he won the National Book Award with Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. His 2010 The Art of Description: World into Word is reflection not just on the art of writing, but also on the art of seeing what one wishes to write about. A new collection of poetry, Deep Lane, is forthrcoming from W.W. Norton.

50 YEARS AGO: Andrew Sullivan: 1963. The British transplant to America is an author, political commentator and a seminal blogger, having begun blogging before blogging was cool, with The Dish being one of the highest trafficked blogs on the net. Sullivan describes his views as politically conservative — he supports a flat tax, privatizing social security, and supports free markets in health care. If you read him with 1995 in mind, you’d pretty much agree: he’s conservative. And he has developed conservative arguments against the use of torture, his opposition to capital punishment, his concerns over the growing influence of “Christianism” (as he distinguishes it from Christianity) in American politics, his grudging support for Obamacare, and his strident advocacy for same-sex marriage.

Because conservatism has changed to such a radical extent in America, those positions have opened him up to accusations of being a raving liberal. He supported George W. Bush in 2000, but went with Kerry, reluctantly, in 2004 over disagreement with Bush’s conduct of the wars and his position on the Federal Marriage Amendment. In 2008, Sullivan enthusiastically supported Obama and developed a fixation on Sarah Palin. He supported Obama again in 2012, even as he continues to find reason to hope for a re-made GOP. Earlier this year, he took The Dish completely independent, financially and technically, from the Daily Beast.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

Steve

August 10th, 2013

“Hysteria” was a quack medical condition at the time. The “cure” was orgasms (which was a huge cash cow for them), but because the doctors became too tired of performing the “procedure” manually, one of them eventually invented the vibrator.

RobNYNY1957

August 11th, 2013

His homophobia when he was a closet case is still pretty distasteful. See The New Republic, January 18, 1988. I figured then that he was a self-loathing homo. My letter to the editor pointing out his homophobia was published in the next edition.

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