Monday 31 December 2018

See You In February

And so the time has come to slow down. Since August 2011 I’ve been writing over 900 articles several times a week (give or take two short breaks).

As I have said in some previous articles I have no intention of disappearing for good – there’s too much lgbt heritage to explore and 2019 will see significant anniversaries that deserve to be commemorated.

There are 4 months in 2019 which will have the most new articles. These are:

February – LGBT History Month UK
June – US Pride Month
October – LGBT History Month US
December – Advent and Christmas.

Other articles will appear less regularly throughout the rest of the year. Also during 2019 I’ll be researching another “Around the World in 80 Gays” ready for 2020.

2018 has seen its fair share of good and bad news in the lgbt community. The high number of transgender murders continues to be a concern, and the slow journey to equality and legalisation brings frustrations to most of us. Many well-known and influential people in our community and its allies have passed away, and rather than produce a list as in previous years I’ll just mention a few.

Hubert de Givenchy, fashion designer, aged 91.
Bella Emberg, UK comedy actor, aged 80.
Billy Herrington, gay porn star, aged 48.
Tab Hunter, singer and teen idol, aged 86.
Sonia Keys, asteroid hunter, aged 56.
Vibeke Skofterud, Olympic cross-country skiing champion 2010, aged 38.
David Ogden Stiers, actor, aged 79.
Dale Winton, UK Television personality, aged 62.
Soni Wolf, co-founder of Dykes on Bikes, aged 69.
Peter Wyngarde, actor and 1970s television sex symbol, aged 91.
Craig Zadan, film and Broadway producer, aged 69.
Jan Zobel, financial advisor, Gay Games mountain bike champion 2002.

It has not all been bad news. The Winter Olympics provided many uplifting moments – from Ireen Wüst becoming the most medalled Winter Olympian in history, to Gus Kenworthy kissing his boyfriend on live television (which wasn’t shown in homophobic nations). Then there was Eric Radford, the first openly gay male American Olympian selected, Adam Rippon, the first openly gay male American to compete (though several decades behind many other nations), and the California gay flag with its owners displayed prominently at the bobsleigh finals.

Other international sport featured prominently this year. There was also the Commonwealth Games, the European Championships and the Gay Games. For the Pride House at the European Championships in Glasgow I had the honour of having my lgbt Olympian research featured in an exhibition. It was constructed as a path of hexagonal floor tiles around Pride House. I was unable to attend personally. Below is a photo of part of that exhibition.

I’ll end with a couple of other happy stories.

On 25th August this year Paul Mart celebrated his 100th birthday. Paul was a founding member of the Gay Games in 1982 and a physique medallist. At the games in Cologne in 2010 he became the oldest Gay Games medallist at the age on 92.

The second happy event started out badly. In 2015 Natalie Rivans and Helen Embleton were just doing their shopping in the local supermarket. As they left the checkout the cashier uttered several homophobic comments. The couple reported the cashier and the cashier was disciplined. But that’s not the happy ending. In November this year Natalie and Helen got married, and their wedding photo was chosen as “Wedding Photo of the Week” by the UK’s “Bride” magazine Facebook cover photo.

I’m sure you have your own memories of 2018. So I’ll leave you for now and wish you all a Happy New Year and see you again in February.

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