Sunday 28 June 2020

Cosplay Comes Out

When I was doing the final editing and fact-checking for this article I read about the sad passing this month of Rich Thigpen, one of the co-founders of Prism Comics (see below) and a pioneer of lgbt comic conventions. This article is dedicated to his memory in appreciation for his contribution to lgbt visibility at comic conventions.
Like everyone else I was looking forward to so many events this year. One event I was particularly looking forward to was EM-Con in Nottingham.

EM-Con is one of several annual comic, gaming and fantasy genre conventions (called comic cons) in the East Midlands of England. Last year my youngest brother and I decided to cosplay. My brother has been doing it for several years but 2019 was my first time, not that I’m a stranger to dressing up. For most of the 1990s I was a medieval re-enactor, but that’s not quite the same as cosplay – the wearing of costume to portray a fictional character, usually at a convention.

There wasn’t a specific character I wanted to cosplay as. There are no role-models or superheroes that I can identify with but I’ve always loved the Time Lord costumes from “Doctor Who”, especially the big ceremonial collar, so I decided to make my own. You can see the finished full costume in all its purple fabulousness below. I was very pleased with the final result and the reception it received.
Over the past few decades lgbt appearance and inclusion in the comic, gaming and fantasy genres in general has been increasing. There have been many lgbt characters introduced since I wrote my article on lgbt superheroes in 2017.

Mainstream comic cons welcome lgbt attendees and cosplayers and many have non-discriminatory and anti-harassment regulations. There has also been an increase in openly lgbt cosplayers launching their own social media sites. Another trend in cosplay is crossplay, the portraying of a character of a different gender or ethnicity. Gender crossplay is particularly prevalent among lgbt cosplayers, with its long tradition of drag in the community and the blossoming of androgynous identities. At the present time, however, there is some debate among ethnic cosplayers over white crossplayers portraying a character of a different race, while ethnic crossplay of white characters appears to be acceptable. You’ll see examples of both types of crossplay in the video below.

One quite well-known cosplayer is Jonathan Stryker. He rose to fame some years ago by cosplaying various Disney princes. In 2006 he attended Florida Supercon where he caught the cosplay bug. Inspired by Supercon and the desire to see more open lgbt attendance at such events Jonathan founded OUT Con, Florida’s first lgbt comic con. As an openly gay man Jonathan Stryker realised “There are people who need to feel safe who might not feel comfortable going to other places”, as he told South Florida Gay News. “I wanted to create one.” As well as the multi-genre OUT Con Jonathan also created Okama Con, an lgbt convention specifically for anime, Jonathan’s main passion. I can only find record of one Okama Con being held, on 14th January 2017.

There were three OUT Cons, all held at the Miami Airport Convention Center. The first was on 14th May 2015 and attracted 500 attendees. The second was on 6th-7th May 2016, and the last was on 4th August 2017.

OUT Con was not the first lgbt comic con. Bent-Con was created in 2010 by gay comic artist Sean Holman and gay tattoo and comic artist Dave Davenport. Like Jonathan Stryker they had felt a need for a convention where lgbt comic and fantasy fans could feel welcome. Sean’s words were “Bent-Con started out of a desire of a bunch of queer geeks who were tired of going to cons and being the niche within the niche within the niche”.

The first Bent-Con was held on 5th December 2010 in a vacant store in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Over the next few years it moved to the Marriott Convention Center in Burbank. The last was held on 6th-8th November 2015.

But do not despair. Even if OUT Con and Bent-Con have gone there’s still Flame Con.

Flame Con has become the biggest lgbt comic con. It was created by Geeks Out, a charity (non-profit) founded in 2010 that supports and promotes lgbt inclusion in the genres of comic, video games and science fiction-fantasy and horror fandom. They have attended many mainstream comic cons. In 2015 they created Flame Con, the first of which was held on 13th June at the Grand Prospect Hotel, Brooklyn. It has been held ever year since then until the pandemic forced the cancellation of its 2020 event.

Geeks Out is just one of many lgbt organisations to attend mainstream comic cons. Prism Comics is a charity that supports and promotes lgbt comic artist and writers and since its formation in 2003 has been present at the biggest comic con of them all, San Diego Comic Con.

Very early on Prism Comics realised that there was no list of lgbt comics and comic artists, so they published one and called it “The Gay Agenda”. The person who led the way in its production was Andy Mangels, one of my “80 Gays” from 2018. Prism now also host many lgbt guest panels and events within San Diego’s and other big comic cons.

Finally, back to cosplay. Below is a YouTube video of Flame Con 2019. Maybe it’ll inspire you to take up cosplay, you’re never too old – I started when I was almost 59! Here’s some advice – you don’t need to have the body of a superhero to cosplay as one, that’s not the point of cosplay, and don’t worry or be disillusioned about people not knowing who you’re dressed as because some people may not be familiar with the character (there were several people at EM-Con who didn’t know I was dressed as a Time Lord, only true Doctor Who fans recognised it). Look around YouTube for other cosplay videos for inspiration. Be imaginative. Be yourself. It’s fun.

Tuesday 23 June 2020

80 More Gays Around the World: Part 14) Colonial Roots

Last time on “80 More Gays”: 36) Frederik Gotthold Enslin (c.1740-after 1778) , a Dutch colonist, escaped the death penalty for being gay, unlike an earlier Dutch colonial, 37) Joost Schouten (c.1600-1644), a merchant and envoy to the court of the Japanese shogun 38) Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651), father of the “Dog Shogun” 39) Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (1646-1709), who introduced a festival based on an ancient harvest celebration, another version of which was Thanksgiving, created by the colonial Americans during the lifetime of 40) William Plaine (c.1595?-1646).

40) William Plaine was neither the first to be convicted or executed for what they called sodomy in the American colonies. Richard Cornish was the first to executed, but he was an English merchant and not a settler. William Plaine was the first settler to be executed for sodomy.

New Haven colony was founded in 1637. The township of Guilford, which was originally called Menunkatuck after the native tribe from whom the land was bought, was founded in 1639. Several ships from England carried Puritan colonists, farmers and their families. One ship, the “St. John”, carried three colonists who are worth mentioning – William Plaine, Francis Chatfield and John Parmalee (also referred to as Parmalin or Permewly). Francis Chatfield will become a significant figure in a future article on the coat of arms of his 9-times great-nephew, the gay Olympic swimmer Mark Chatfield.

Guilford township experienced a difficult first few decades, at least spiritually. The original Puritan pastor moved away and the settlers were left with no spiritual leader, vital for the Puritans, for a number of years. Several settler families moved away, including that of Francis Chatfield’s brother George, the Olympian’s direct ancestor, to avoid living in what they regarded as an increasingly godless township. During the events that transpired in 1646 it appears that William was probably one of these “godless” people that settlers wanted to get away from. William made it clear that he doubted the existence of God. At first, however, William Plaine seemed to be a trusted member of the town.

Unlike some of the other colonists we know nothing of William Plaine’s origins. We assume he was born in England and can definitely assume that he was an adult when he embarked on the “St. John” in 1639 because he was one of the signatories, with Francis Chatfield and John Parmalee, of the Covenant made on the voyage which founded Guilford. On arriving in Guilford William was allotted two acres of land to settle and build a home. You can actually visit the site today. The buildings have gone but the site is now occupied by Page Hardware store and the old Guilford Trust bank building to the south of Guilford green. William’s house was situated in the car park behind the old bank.
The Guildford Covenant stone placed outside Henry Whitfield House Museum in 2018 to commemorate the 375th anniversary of the signing of the covenant in 1639. William Plaine’s name is included.
William Plaine may have been married before he arrived in Guilford. His wife was called Anne (surname unknown). They had only one known child, a daughter and heir called Hannah. William was appointed inspector of chimneys to check they were constructed properly and not able to set fire to property or spread. He was well known to the people of Guilford. Just what they knew about his private life is unknown but everyone soon got to know very quickly when he was accused and tried by the town council of sodomy and sexual abuse of boys.

Court records are missing so most of what we know of William’s trial or examination comes from the journal of John Winthrop, the governor of the neighbouring Massachusetts Bay colony. He writes how the governor of New Haven colony, Theophilus Eaton, had written to seek advice on what action to take with William Plaine, who had been accused and found guilty of having sex with two men in England, and abusing boys in Guilford more than a hundred times. Governor Winthrop agreed with the law, that Plaine should hang and this is exactly what happened in or around 6th June 1646.

But that’s not the end to his story because he left a widow and daughter, and it’s what happened to them that takes us to the next of our “80 Gays”.

It was common in early colonial times for a widow like Anne Plaine to remarry in order to ensure she could keep possession of her late husband’s property. Her new husband couldn’t even sell it without her permission. In a small community like Guilford there was a relatively small number of “available” husbands, and in about 1650 Anne married the recently widowed John Parmalee, the son of the John Parmalee who had travelled with William Plaine on the “St. John”. The Parmalees were a prominent family and the marriage indicates that there was no stigma attached to Anne for her executed husband crimes. The marriage lasted until Anne’s death in 1658, leaving Hannah as her sole heir.

Again, marriage would ensure Hannah’s continued occupation of the property, and who stepped up to marry her? It was another recently widowed man, her own stepfather, John Parmalee. They married in 1659. Historians assume this was the case because John had to ask his wife’s permission to sell some of the land that she inherited, some of the Plaine property. He wouldn’t do that if Hannah wasn’t the heir to William Plaine.

People may cringe at the thought of a man marrying his stepdaughter but there were no objections and it seems not to be regarded as incest under the Puritan colonists’ laws. There was no blood link and the marriage was more of a property alliance. However, John Parmalee and Hannah Plaine had nine children. The first, John Parmalee III, was born in 1659, and the youngest in 1678.

Today there are several thousand people who are descended from John and Hannah, and thus from William Plaine. There are several famous descendants - First Lady Barbara Bush and her son President George W. Bush, and actors Ben Affleck, Christopher Reeve, Humphrey Bogart and Jodie Foster.

Descended from the eldest son, John Parmalee III, is 41) Vincent Price (1911-1993).

Next time on “80 More Gays”: Hollywood horror, a daughters’ revelation, Latina art, homophobic Baptist, and a reporter on the Daily Planet.

Friday 19 June 2020

A Reminder About A Reminder

In April I wrote a few words about a gay activist who was present at the 1969 Stonewall Riots and who suggested a commemorative march to mark its first anniversary. His name was Craig Rodwell (1940-1993), and he is often overlooked by modern lgbt activists who claim the gay rights movement began with Stonewall.

It is fair to say that the Pride movement, rather than the gay rights movement, began with Stonewall. Specifically, it began with the Chicago Gay Pride march on 27th June 1970, but most people tend to think of the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day march (retrospectively regarded as the first New York City Pride) on 28th June as the beginning of Pride. In all, four US cities held a march specifically to commemorate the first anniversary of Stonewall on 27th/28th June 1970 – chronologically, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Today it is easy for the younger generation not to realise that the act of protest against homophobia existed before 1970. Craig Rodwell not only came up with the idea of the first Pride march but also of an annual event that the first Pride marches replaced.

In April 1965 Frank Kameny, the activist mentioned in an “80 More Gays” article last month, organised a picket outside the White House in Washington DC. This was part of his ongoing campaign to persuade American society that gay men and lesbian women were ordinary people who deserved equal treatment under the law.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Craig Rodwell took this picket as inspiration for a new one to be held on 4th July, the Independence Day holiday. Frank Kameny and the organisers of the Washington picket were enthusiastic about the idea and set about organising the event.

A brief word about the organisation of the Washington picket. Frank Kameny was a member of the Mattachine Society, a gay rights organisation founded in the 1950s. This group, however, did not act alone when holding pickets and demonstrations. The Daughters of Bilitis and the Janus Society of Philadelphia were also involved. Together they formed the East Coast Homophile Organisation (ECHO). If I ever get the time I’ll do some in-depth research into the pre-Stonewall lgbt groups and activists and create something like the rock family trees that were popular in the 1990s. However, I digress.

Craig Rodwell’s choice of holding a picket on Independence Day was deliberate. In the words of Craig himself the picket was to “remind the American people that a substantial number of American citizens were denied their rights of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.”, as enshrined in the American constitution. Because it expressed the need to “remind” the picket became known as the Annual Reminder.

It took just a few weeks for the first Reminder to be organised. Thankfully, ECHO’s Washington picket was a perfect template. It included a dress code. Picketers were expected to wear ordinary, everyday suits or dresses, depending on their gender, in order to portray themselves as what they were – ordinary citizens. Modern Pride marches usually have no dress code.

The first Annual Reminder took place on 4th July 1965 outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Four more followed in the next successive years on the same date. They can’t be called marches because they were held in one location. These pickets were never very large. There were 39 picketers at the first one, and 150 at the last. They attracted very little media coverage, or even any nationwide response from the lgbt community. All this changed in the week before the final Annual Reminder took place on 4th July 1969. Below is a Youtube video of the 1968 Annual Reminder.

You may have realised that the date of that last Reminder is just a week after the Stonewall Riots in New York. That riot came at the end of a decade which saw many similar civil and human rights protests which characterised the 1960s. The organisers of the Annual Reminder realised that a new generation of lgbt campaigners would not likely participate in a subdued picket-style demonstration and they decided that the next Annual Reminder in the week following Stonewall would be the last and gave their support to the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day march.

Craig Rodwell was not a customer at the Stonewall when the police raid began. He and his partner Fred Sargeant went past the bar on their way home from another venue. They saw the raid taking place and the growing protest. They later contacted several new agencies to cover the event but only the New York Times responded. Throughout the following days and nights of the unrest Craig and Fred distributed leaflets denouncing the police and mafia connections to the Stonewall inn.

Craig attended the final Annual Reminder a week later, and circumstances were now in place that would eventually lead to the first Pride marches in 1970.

ECHO had been reformed in 1966 as the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organisations (ERCHO). At the meeting of ERCHO in November 1969 in Philadelphia the idea of the first Pride march was put forward by Craig. That meeting had some very heated debates. Ellen Broidy (featured in same “80 More Gays” as Craig Rodwell and Frank Kameny) became embroiled in a disagreement with L. Craig Schoonmaker over abortion rights; radical left-wing politics were resisted by the “older” activists; and there was opposition to Frank Kameny’s insistence on a dress code. Thankfully, there were things they agreed on, three things in particular. These were accepting Craig Rodwell’s suggestion of a march, the choosing of the date of the march to coincide with the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and the suggestion by Schoonmaker that Gay Pride be chosen as the overall name.

Once the date and name were chosen the organisation of the first Pride march began. It was decided to call it the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day march and most of the early committee meetings took place in Craig Rodwell’s apartment in New York.

Several other cities had similar events to mark the anniversary of Stonewall, as mentioned above, though there was no cross-nation organisation.

And so the Pride movement was born. It was more radical, direct, vocal and political than the previous pickets and organised demonstrations. The Annual Reminders were the first regular yearly lgbt protest demonstrations which influenced the modern Pride march. Craig Rodwell was instrumental in the transition. In any history of Pride he cannot be left out.

In what should have been a year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pride march we are finding other ways to spread the message of diversity and acceptance.

Monday 15 June 2020

80 More Gays Around the World: Halfway Catch-up

Here we are, halfway through “80 More Gays” and I thought I’d give regular readers a brief reminder of where the journey has already taken us and with whom. It also gives new readers an idea of what they’ve missed. You can read the full connections by following the blog backwards, or start with January 2020. Being an Olympic year I tried to incorporate many Olympic links. Little did I know when compiling this series last year that circumstances would lead to its postponement.

1) k. d. lang (b.1961) has performed at the closing ceremonies both of Winter Olympics held in her native Canada. The first was the 1988 games in Calgary. One of the most anticipated competitions at those games was the Battle of the Brians between

2) Brian Orser (b.1961) and

3) Brian Boitano (b.1963), the world’s top two male figure skaters. Orser was the world champion and Boitano was the previous world champion. Boitano just pipped Orser to the Olympic gold medal. Boitano’s short programme was set to music from “Les Patineurs”, a ballet which was originally choreographed by

4) Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988). After his death the rights to his ballets went to various friends and colleagues. “Les Patineurs” was left to

5) Brian Shaw (1928-1992), former principal dancer at Sadler’s Wells in London. Sir Frederick created a role for Shaw in a ballet called “Tiresias”, named after the mythological transgender prophet

6) Tiresias. Shaw played one of the snakes having sex that Tiresias encounters. Striking one of the snakes caused Tiresias to change sex. Another myth says he was blinded by the goddess

7) Athena as punishment for seeing her bathe naked. Tiresias and Athena both appear in “The Odyssey” as advisors to Odysseus. Athena appears to him in the form of a man called Mentor. Athena was also patron of Athens, home to the temple complex on the Acropolis. Its chief architect was

8) Phidias (living 5th century BC). Another of his works was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the statue to Zeus at Olympia. No-one listed any Wonders until 300 years after Phidias died and there was never any consensus. Among them at one time were constructions by

9) Polycrates of Samos (d. 522 BC). Among his massive projects were a wall around the island, a temple to Hera, and a tunnel. Polycrates’ name became applied to a psychological complex in which a person worries about being too lucky. One example of this Polycrates Complex is the case of

10) Paul Morphy (1837-1884), a chess prodigy. He became riddled with guilt and fear of losing. One of his most famous matches took place during a performance of the little-known opera “Norma”. Despite its obscurity “Norma” inspired a novel by

11) Marion Zimmer Bradley (1930-1999) called “The Forest House”, a prequel to her novel “The Mists of Avalon”. These novels had an Arthurian theme, a genre popularised by the Victorian Pre-Raphaelites and members of the Arts and Crafts movement like

12) Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942), an architect and designer. He built a villa in Taormina, Sicily, on the site of an ancient temple. Ashbee’s friend,

13) Robert Hawthorn Kitson (1873-1947), also built a villa there. Taormina’s main church near by was also built on an ancient temple, dedicated to a bull deity called

14) Zeus-Serapis. In an Egyptian cult the sacred bull Apis was transformed into Osiris-Apis (Serapis) when it was sacrificed. The Greeks merged Serapis with their own god Zeus, and Zeus-Serapis was born and a temple built in Taormina. Bull symbols dominate Taormina which sits in the shadow of Mount Taurus. Stars within the constellation Taurus form a group called the Pleiades which represents mythical sisters. They provided the inspiration for an initiative aimed at improving the inclusion of women in astronomy launched by

15) Lisa Harvey-Smith (b.1979) of the Astronomical Society of Australia. Lisa’s main work was in the development of the Square Kilometre Array in the homeland of the Yamatji people of Western Australia. Local astronomers learned about the significance of the stars from Yamatji elders. The Milky Way represents the creator god common to Australian indigenous nations, the Rainbow Serpent, which the Yamatji call

16) Bimarri. The androgynous Rainbow Serpent features prominently in indigenous art and was a central motif in an all-indigenous production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” directed by indigenous actor

17) Noel Tovey (b.1934). He incorporated the Rainbow Serpent into the design of the sets and costumes. The production was part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Cultural Festival. The Sydney Olympics are, retrospectively, the most gender diverse – 12 athletes were openly gay, lesbian or bisexual, 2 identified as intersex, and 3 have become transgender, including

18) Sandra Forgues (b.1969), a French rower who competed at 3 Olympics and won gold in Atlanta 1996. In 2004 she set up a media digital support company. The biggest project was for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in 2015 at the first European Games. The EBU’s most famous broadcast is the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2019 France attracted controversy centred around its choice of a gay Muslim singer called

19) Bilal Hassani (b.2000). The contest was held in Israel. An Israeli broadcaster produced a comedy thriller about a young gay Muslim singer representing France at the “Eurotone Song Contest” in Israel who becomes caught up in an ISIS terrorist plot. Bilal received racist and homophobic abuse because of the similarity of his own circumstances (except the fictional ISIS plot). Some people took it seriously, as with a parody of the ISIS flag at London Pride in 2015, though no flag stirs up emotions more than the Nazi flag with its swastika first adopted by

20) Alfred Schuler (1865-1923). His neo-pagan, anti-Semitic ideas were a mixture of ancient Roman beliefs and mysticism. Schuler was keen to perform an ancient dance in order to cure

21) Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) of his madness, but he couldn’t find a nubile young man willing to dance naked like the ancients did. The dance was to be a recreation of one performed by priests of the Great Mother Goddess of ancient Phrygia in Turkey who became known to the Romans as

22) Cybele. The cult of Cybele became the state religion of the Roman Empire for a while. With her came her accompanying rites, third-gender priests and associated deities. Among these was a deity called

23) Agdistis. The Phrygians originally regarded Cybele and Agdistis as a dual intersex deity. The Greeks and Romans believed this intersex nature disturbed their gods and in their mythology had the gods castrate Agdistis. The Greeks used this to explain the creation of the almond, a plant with mystical qualities of divine favour. It’s also the source of the most popular poison in history, cyanide, sadly used in many suicides, including that of

24) John Menlove Edwards (1910-1958). Edwards was a pioneer in climbing and an extreme sportsman. He would easily have become an Olympian if sport climbing had been introduced into the Olympics before Tokyo 2020. There could be an lgbt climber at Tokyo 2020 with

25) Alex Johnson (b.1989), having already competed in a qualifying event. She didn’t reach Olympic qualification but she may still have a chance of being selected as she is the 2019 top-ranked US female in her event. The first lgbt Olympic climber was

26) George Mallory (1886-1924) who was awarded a gold medal for his participation in the first attempt to reach the top of Mount Everest in 1922. Sadly, George was killed on the 1924 expedition and never got to see his medal. Several lgbt climbers have since reached the top of Everest. The first Peruvian woman to do so was

27) Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (b.1974). She is also the first lesbian to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on the continents. Silvia was subjected to sexual abuse in her childhood. This inspired her to create a charity offering support to other victims. Another person to use their experiences to increase awareness and support of others is author

28) Dorothy Allison (b.1949) who addresses her own experiences in much of her writing. Dorothy’s first work to win a Lambda Literary Award was “Trash: Short Stories” in 1989 for Best Lesbian Fiction. The Lambda Awards were created by

29) L. Page “Deacon” Maccubbin. In 2003 he bought the USA’s first lgbt bookstore, the Oscar Wilde Bookshop in New York. Deacon was one of the organisers of the first modern Pride, as was a former employee

30) Ellen Broidy (b.1946). She was a member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Lavender Menace (renamed the Radicalesbians). Another Radicalesbian member was

31) Barbara Love (b.1937). Before becoming a feminist campaigner Barbara swam in the 1952 and 1956 US Olympic swimming trials but didn’t make the Olympic team on either occasion. Only one lgbt athlete is currently known to have competed at the 1952 Olympics,

32) Marjorie Larney (b.1937), who, aged 15, is the youngest javelin thrower to have competed at the Olympics. Marjorie was also a feminist activist in the 1970s and an anti-Vietnam War campaigner. One of the biggest anti-Vietnam demonstrations was the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam organised by

33) David Mixner (b.1946). In 1977 David became involved in the campaign against Proposition 6, an initiative aimed to make it illegal to teach homosexuality in schools or employ lgbt teachers. Among the other campaigners was

34) Leonard Matlovich (1943-1988), a Vietnam War veteran best remembered for being a pioneer in the fight for the acceptance of lgbt personnel in the US armed forces with support from

35) Frank Kameny (1925-2011), who had himself been discharged. Frank became an activist and supporter of other discharged personnel. The ban on lgbt personnel in the US armed forces goes way back to the War of Independence and to

36) Frederick Gotthold Enslin (c.1740- after 1778), a Dutchman in the Revolutionary army who was discharged in 1778 for being homosexual. Over a century earlier another Dutch colonial was burnt at the stake for his homosexuality. His name was

37) Joost Schouten (c.1600-1644) and he was a leading colonial administrator of the Dutch East Indies Company. He undertook several long trade and diplomatic missions to Japan. The ruling shogun was

38) Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651), who later expelled all Europeans from Japan and broke off contact with the West. He was succeeded by his son

39) Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (1646-1709), known as the Dog Shogun. He popularised a festival based on harvest celebrations, just as Thanksgiving was becoming popular in America at the same time. One American colonist and contemporary of Joost Shouten was another man executed for homosexuality. He was

40) William Plaine (c.1595-1646).

And now we’re up to date. The remaining 40 Gays will take us on more journeys and connections leading us back to 1) k d lang. Along the way we’ll drink some wine, go quilting, join the Byzantine army, play ice hockey, remember 9/11, design a medal, and visit Atlantis – but not necessarily in that order.