Saturday 26 September 2020

80 More Gays Around the World: Part 21) Stage, Screen and Censorship

Last time on “80 More Gays”: Mathematician 55) Sofya Kovalevskaya (1850-1891) is buried in the same cemetery as 56) Mauritz Stiller (1883-1928), who directed several films based on novels by 57) Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940), the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1909 and who nominated the winner of the 1922 prize, 58) Jacinto Benavente (1866-1954).

58) Jacinto Benavente was a leading figure in Spanish theatre in the first decades of the 20th century. His plays were often satirical and humorous, and it was this style which was remarked upon in the citation of his Nobel Prize.

As with Sofya Kovalevskaya, Jacinto’s sexuality is a question of interpretation and opinion. Jacinto himself shrugged off all rumours of his sexuality, but as far as I can tell, he neither confirmed nor denied them. In Spanish theatrical circles he is widely regarded as having been gay.

Spanish theatre was, naturally, centred in the nation’s capital, Madrid. The major theatre in the city at that time was the Teatro de la Princesa – the Princess Theatre. By 1908 the theatre was owned and managed by a renowned actress Maria Guererro. In the first year under her management it premiered one of Jacinto’s plays, and did so again in 1913, 1914 and 1919. In 1931, three years after Maria Guererro’s death, the Princess Theatre was renamed in her honour.

Jacinto Benavente became a reluctant supporter of General Franco’s regime after the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9. He regarded Franco as the lesser of two evils (fascism and socialism). However, Franco imposed strict censorship on the performing arts and Jacinto decided not to write for many years after it was introduced.

Franco set up the National Propaganda Service. One of the new state censors was 59) Luis Escobar Kirkpatrick (1908-1991). On his father’s death in 1954 Luis inherited the title of Marquess de las Marismas del Guadalquivir. Like Jacinto Benavente Luis Escobar would probably have described himself as a liberal monarchist. Neither were very enthusiastic in their support of Franco’s regime. A friend of Luis because Head of the National Propaganda Service and it was he who appointed Luis as Head of the Theatre and Music Department in 1938. However, neither stayed in their position very long. Both were suspected of non-compliance in their duties and dismissed. In his memoirs Luis admitted that he would usually “okay” each page of a submitted script without reading it.

During his year-long stint as a state censor Luis Escobar was also given the task of setting up what became the National Theatre of Spain. He established a core set of plays from what the Spanish termed their Golden Era, which included those of Jacinto Benavente. In 1940 Luis was appointed director of the Maria Guerrero Theatre.

Luis Escobar was also an actor. He appeared in many television dramas and series, and in a handful of films. He also directed several films, including “La Honradez de la Cerradura” by Jacinto Benavente in 1950 which was nominated for the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

Luis wasn’t the only aristocrat to be an actor and director. 60) Nicole Stéphane (1923-2007) was one also. Something else that links the two is a common feature in their coat of arms. Below left is the shield from the coat of arms of Luis Escobar. On the right is the shield from Nicole Stéphane’s.

The common feature isn’t apparent without some knowledge of heraldry. Both coats of arms are what are called allusive. They allude to the owner’s names. Luis Escobar’s ancestors adopted brooms was their arms because the Spanish word for a broom is “escoba”. The allusive nature of Nicole Stéphane’s arms in less apparent until you learn that her full name was Baroness Nicole Mathilde Stéphanie de Rothschild. The name Rothschild translates as “red shield” or “red badge”, and this is alluded to by the little red shield in the centre of their arms.

Nicole Stéphane belonged to the French branch of the Rothschild family. Her father, uncle and cousin were also actors, writers and directors. Nicole was nominated for a Bafta (British Oscar) as Best Actress in a Foreign Film for her second film “Les Enfants Terribles” (1950). Nicole’s last acting role was in “Carve Her Name With Pride” (1958).

A serious car accident left her unable to walk and speak for a while and she never fully recovered. It was for this reason that she turned to film production and direction. Although she made several successful films her dream was to film Marcel Proust’s novel series “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu” (Remembrance of Things Past). She acquired the film rights in 1962 and many in the profession thought it was unfilmable. After many struggles over funding and scripts the first film in the series, “Swann In Love”, was produced in 1984. No others were made.

I had originally thought of continuing this “80 More Gays” sequence with Marcel Proust himself, but before I do that I want to take a little detour.

Through Nicole’s family connections she managed to arrange for part of a future film in her “Remembrance of Things Past” series to be filmed at a family mansion, the Château de Ferrières. This belonged to another branch of Nicole’s family and was built for her 3-times-great-uncle James. One of James’s grandchildren, who was very familiar with the château, was Baroness Hélène de Rothschild, known by her married name of 61) Hélène van Zuylen (1863-1947).

Next time on “80 More Gays”: We race across northern France and soar into the skies with a couple of heroes before landing in Morocco to return to Marcel Proust.

Monday 21 September 2020

Heritage Spotlight: Flower Power To The Rescue

 Prospect Cottage and Derek Jarman’s Garden.

Six months ago it would have been inconceivable to visit any heritage site. With the pandemic lockdown heritage and leisure venues were among the first to be closed. Many people thought that the pandemic would be over by the end of summer and that everything would be back to normal.

Things may never get back to “normal” but one of the steps towards achieving this, taken to help the heritage and leisure industry survive, is the gradual reopening of many sites. Last week the UK held its annual Heritage Open Days. In previous years most heritage sites and museums have been free to enter, and many private heritage sites opened their doors for a couple of days. This year, of course, things are different. There were still celebrations for the Heritage Open Days but many places, including my old place of work, Gainsborough Old Hall, won’t reopen until next year.

The sites that have reopened have implemented social distancing precautions, though with parks and gardens this has not been so much of a problem. Back in January, even before the lockdown, it looked as if one garden in particular was going to be lost, and when the lockdown came into effect its future looked ever gloomier. This garden is of special importance to the lgbt community. It is Derek Jarman’s Garden at Dungeness in Kent.

Derek Jarman (1942-1994) was more well-known in the lgbt community in his lifetime in the UK than he is now. Many people of my generation will know his name and work, though younger generations probably don’t. He was always challenging cinematic norms when it came to depictions of sexuality and gender, leading to him being described as avant garde or the “enfant terrible” of British cinema. Today his films seem tame and harmless. Some of his most famous films are “Sebastiane” (1976) and “Edward II” (1991, based on a play by gay Elizabethan spy Christopher Marlowe).

It isn’t only the fact that the garden was designed and made by Derek Jarman that makes it notable but also the fact that it’s not your typical garden of lush greenery and vivid flowers. It is very much a product of its location, and in his lifetime it attracted a lot of media coverage, as well as being featured in a couple of Derek’s own films.

Derek Jarman’s Garden, and the old fisherman’s collage called Prospect Cottage where Derek lived for the last 17 years of his life, is located on a piece of vast shingle beach not far from an imposing nuclear power station. It is open to the elements, and wind gusts off the English Channel almost continuously. No tree can grow there.

Derek fell in love with the place as soon as he saw it in 1986, alerted by the “For Sale” sign. He made an offer to buy the property almost immediately and very soon moved in and began renovations – not a total modern make-over but a sympathetic restoration to bring more stability to the century-old structure. He once told a journalist that he bought it as a joke, but it is apparent that this quickly turned to a love of the place.

The surrounding shingle garden was virtually a natural wasteland. In fact, the National Trust lists it as a desert. Derek also set about livening up the surrounding beach with a garden. He had always had an interest in flowers and gardening, ever since his parents gave him a gardening book when he was 4.

Derek’s first choice of plants for his new garden were roses. However, the shingle and sandy soil were not a suitable ground for the roses he chose to grow and they withered. Inspired by the surrounding landscape Derek selected roses which could survive in the soil as well as sea kale, red hot pokers, elder, poppies and rare orchids. Because the area is a conservation zone all the plants had to be grown from seed, not transplanted from another location, and no fences are allowed. In among the plants and pathways Derek set up small sculptures and erected pieces of driftwood. At first the locals thought he was building some sort of pagan shrine.

Derek and his partner Keith Collins tended the garden through Derek’s illness. Keith continued after Derek’s death and even after his own diagnosis of a brain tumour in 2018. This was when he decided to put Prospect Cottage and the garden into a trust to preserve it for the nation. Keith died before that trust was completed.

By the end on 2019 the cottage and garden needed to raise £3.5 million to ensure both were saved for the nation or it would go up for private sale in March. A fundraising campaign was formed by the Art Fund, the Tate, and Creative Folkestone. Many of Derek Jarman’s friends and celebrity fans urged the public to help.

When the lockdown came into effect there were fears that the target would not be reached in time. Thankfully, as the deadline approached the target was reached, and Prospect Cottage and Derek Jarman’s Garden were saved. Both will remain pretty much as they were in 2018 when Keith Collins died.

After Keith’s death the Garden Museum in Lambeth, Greater London, decided to mount an exhibition about the garden. Part of the interior of Prospect Cottage was reproduced and actual items from the cottage were loaned to the museum. The opening of the exhibition was delayed by the lockdown. The museum said that the delay actually worked in their favour because the exhibition was expanded to accommodate the new social distancing rules which meant that more items could be included.

The exhibition opened on 4th July and a relatively small number of visitors had the opportunity to see it. The exhibition closed yesterday. Thankfully, more people will be able to see the real thing down at Dungeness when it eventually opens to the public officially – a unique garden created by a unique film-maker.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Out Of My Tree: To Be A Pilgrim

The Mayflower II, a full-size replica of the 1620 Mayflower, built in 1956. (Wikimedia Commons)

Four hundred years ago today a group of people from my home district began a voyage that shaped the future of the world. They travelled on a ship called the Mayflower. On both side of the Atlantic communities are commemorating this anniversary, one of the major moments in the birth of the USA. The covid pandemic has severely effected the commemorations but many are taking place online, and videos have been produced to tell the story of the Mayflower, its impact on Native American communities and how it effected the course of history.

First, some definitions: SEPARATISTS – Christians in England who didn’t follow the established Protestant or Catholic churches (some became known as Puritans); PILGRIMS – (in the context of the Mayflower) Separatists who fled persecution in England and set up a church in Holland, this includes those who didn’t travel on the Mayflower or settle in America; STRANGERS – Mayflower passengers who weren’t members of the Separatist church in Holland and who were looking for a new life in America.

Those of us with a personal connection to the Mayflower story don’t use the term Pilgrim Father. There were Pilgrim Mothers and Children as well. We prefer the terms Mayflower Pilgrims and Mayflower Passengers.

About 10 million US citizens and around 1 million non-Americans are descended from Mayflower passengers. For Americans, showing an ancestor was on the Mayflower is like a European finding a royal descent. Some Americans have both.

On the anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock in December I’ll present the results of a huge project I’ve been researching over the past two years. It will consist of a pdf giving a more detailed explanation of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims with tables and family trees of the Mayflower, Pilgrim and Separatist ancestors of many members of the lgbt community. Today I want to concentrate on my own links to the Mayflower.

My own links can be summarised in three points: 1) most of my ancestors came from the same area of Nottinghamshire as many of the Pilgrims; 2) for six years I worked at Gainsborough Old Hall, one of the places where some Separatists are known to have worshipped; and 3) one of my ancestors may have been a cousin of William Bradford, a leader of the Mayflower Pilgrims and Governor of Plymouth Colony.

Below is a part of a map printed in 1610. This is as near as we can get to seeing what Nottinghamshire looked like when the Pilgrims lived there. The thick grey line is the county border. It has changed slightly since then. For example, the area at the top with the villages called Akely and Finnyngley (now Auckley and Finningley) are now in South Yorkshire.

I’ve marked several places on the map. Bautre, now Bawtry (pronounced Bor-tre), is also now in South Yorkshire. Just below it is Scrobye, the old name for Scrooby, the village where the Mayflower leader, William Brewster, came from. Mysterton (Misterton) is where I was raised and where many of my ancestors lived. Gainsborough (Ganesburgh) is where the Old Hall is located.

Having so many of my father’s ancestors born in the area I often wondered if I was related to any of the Mayflower Pilgrims. I began researching my family tree in 1978 and it was only last year that I discovered that I might be.

Last year I was sorting out my Norton ancestry, trying to prove if I was related to or descended from an Elizabethan Catholic rebel leader called Richard Norton (2019 was the 450th anniversary of his rebellion). It turns out I was descended from him through his son John. Once I established that fact I found that John’s wife, and also therefore my ancestor, was Jane Morton (Morton, Norton, very confusing) from a landed family in Bawtry.

For several centuries researchers have been looking into the family backgrounds of all the Mayflower passengers and their families. One of the later Pilgrims was called George Morton, and his ancestry has been the subject of much debate ever since.

George Morton (c.1587-1624) was described as a merchant from Yorkshire. He was a member of the Separatist church in Holland and he sailed to join his fellow Pilgrims in 1623. There’s no record of his birth or baptism. There is record of his marriage in 1612 to fellow Separatist Priscilla Carpenter in Holland. A lot of family historians believe George was the son of another George Morton, who in turn was the son of Jane Morton’s cousin (see the family tree below for clarification). It’s possible, but there isn’t enough documentary evidence to prove it. But records show that this other older George married in 1591. It is possible for Pilgrim George to have been born in 1592 and 20 years old when he married, but there’s no record to prove he has any link to Bawtry.

What is more intriguing is that my ancestor Jane Morton may have had a niece called Alice Morton, who is often quoted online as being the daughter of Jane’s brother Robert. Records show an Alice Morton of Bawtry marrying William Bradford of Austerfield (in Yorkshire, half a mile north of Bawtry, not shown on the 1610 map) in 1551. We don’t have any birth of baptism entry for Alice, but this William Bradford has been proven to be the grandfather of Mayflower Pilgrim William Bradford.

As far as I’m concerned that on the evidence so far there’s more likelihood of me being related to William Bradford than George Morton. Incidentally, these two men were married to sisters Priscilla and Alice Carpenter.

The lack of documentary evidence, a paper trail proving either the Bradford or Morton link, is frustrating. It might take another 41 years to find it!

Friday 11 September 2020

80 More Gays Around the World: Part 20) Swedish Legacies

Last time on “80 More Gays”: 53) Narses (c.478-c.568), one of the greatest military commanders of the Byzantine Empire, was open about his gender variance, unlike the “Father of the American Cavalry”, recently discovered to have been intersex, 54) Casimir Pulaski (1745-1779), a descendant of the same noble family as mathematician 55) Sofya Kovalevskaya (1850-1891).


55) Sofya Kovalevskaya was born Sofya Korvin-Krakovskaya in Moscow. Her father was a direct descendant of the Korwin family, as was 54) Casimir Pulaski. Some genealogists doubt her father’s descent from the Korwins but his unchallenged use of the Korwin coat of arms in his lifetime by the Russian Imperial Heroldmeister (Master Herald) strongly suggests that he was.


As a female in Russia at that time the only way Sofya would have obtained a university education was by studying outside the country, and she needed written permission from either her father of her husband to do so. To this end in 1868 she married a radical young palaeontology student called Vladimir Kovalevsij, thus becoming Sofya Kovalevskaya. The marriage was “fake” and both parties were aware it was only made to allow Sofya to study abroad.


Sofya travelled around Europe with Vladimir, attending various universities and learned men. By her early 20s Sofya had earned her doctorate. She was a pioneer female mathematician and the first woman in Europe to earn a modern doctorate in maths (from the University of Göttingen in 1874). Sofya was also one of the first women to be appointed a professor (Stockholm University).


Sofya’s mathematical papers and theories influenced later generations and includes everything from differential equations (the Cauchy-Kovalevskaya theorem is partly named after her) to the rings of Saturn.


She and Vladimir spent their final years in Sweden. Following the death of Vladimir, from whom she had separated, Sofya became professor of maths at Stockholm University. Sofya died in Stockholm at the young age of 41 from flu and pneumonia. She is buried in Norra Begraviningsplaten, the “Northern Cemetery”, where several notable Swedes were buried, including Alfred Nobel, whose prize for literature with crop up later.


Among the famous Swedes buried in Norra Bergaviningspalten is a film director who helped to bring a rising star to Hollywood. That director was called 56) Mauritz Schiller (1883-1928).


Mauritz was a pioneer of the early Swedish film industry. In 1912 he wrote and acted in his first film, a short silent film. The silent film industry was beginning to boom around the world and there was an eager audience everywhere. Mauritz appeared in another four films in 1912, also directing three of them. He went on to direct and write another 45 short and feature-length films before being invited to Hollywood by MGM Studios in 1925. Mauritz took with him a young actress he had talent-spotted and featured in one of his recent films, an actress called Greta Garbo.


Mauritz Stiller never became a big Hollywood legend himself like his protégé. He was often at odds with the bosses at MGM and Paramount and he returned to Sweden in 1927. He was eventually honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.


Although many of his film scripts were original Mauritz also adapted plays and novels. One of these was his 1916 film “Vingarme” (Wings), one of the earliest gay love stories ever made. It was adapted from a novel by gay Danish writer Herman Bangs.


uritz wrote and directed several films by the same author including the film in which he gave Greta Garbo her first screen role in 1924. The author of the original novel on which the film was based was 57) Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940).


In 1919 Selma Lagerlöf sold all the film rights to any yet to be published works to the Swedish Cinema Theatre and Mauritz Stiller was one of several Swedish film-makers to adapt Selma’s novels for the screen.


Selma was already a famous novelist by 1919. Her first novel was “Gosta Berling’s Saga”, published in 1891, and was the basis of the film Mauritz made just before going to Hollywood. Selma’s works became very popular in Sweden and she was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1904. She didn’t win, though the Swedish Academy who award her their gold medal.


Selma was nominated again for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1905. Again she didn’t win. She was further nominated in 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909. Selma finally won in 1909, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1914 she also became the first woman to be elected to the Swedish Academy and in 1924 she was a judge in the literature contests at the Olympic Games in Paris.


A well as being nominated and awarded a Nobel Prize Selma Lagerlöf also twice nominated names herself as a member of the Swedish Academy. In both 1920 and 1922 she nominated Danish writer Georg Brandes. His 1922 nomination lost to 58) Jacinto Benevente (1866-1954).


Next time on “80 More Gays”:  We sweep across the Spanish stage and bank on the Rothschilds to follow in their theatrical footsteps before living life in the fast lane.

Sunday 6 September 2020

Paralympic Tribute: 2

Last week I presented a tribute to Marieke Vervoort, the Dutch lgbt Paralympic who passed away last year. Today is a tribute to Angela Madsen, the US lgbt Paralympian who died during her attempt to row solo across the Pacific Ocean in June.

Many tributes to Angela appeared online. None of them could have had adequate room to list all of Angela’s achievements so the table below is my attempt to do so.

Note on Paralympic categories:

F54 – (field athletics) Full arm function, no abdominal power.

F55 – (field athletics) Full arm function, partial abdominal power, no lower limb function or leg amputee.

F56 – (field athletics) Full arm and abdominal function, full or partial leg amputee.

LTA – (rowing) Legs, trunk and arms, being able to use a sliding seat.





National Veteran’s Wheelchair Games

Jun 1995, Atlanta, USA

Gold, 100m freestyle swimming

Gold, 100m backstroke swimming

Gold, 100m breaststroke swimming

Gold, slalom canoeing

Gold, billiards

National Veteran’s Wheelchair Games

July 1996, Seattle, USA

Gold, 100m freestyle swimming

Gold, 100m backstroke swimming

Gold, 100m breaststroke swimming

Gold, shot put

Silver, slalom canoeing

Bay-to-Bay Race (open water rowing race)

6 June 1999, San Diego, USA

Gold, 5 mile, open class

Eagle Adaptive Regatta

10 July 1999, Indianapolis, USA

1st place, double sculls

1st place, 1000m single sculls

1st place, 2000m single sculls

US Amateur Surfing Championships

18 July 1999, Oceanside, USA

2nd place, prosthetic/handicap division

Newport to Dana Point, California

24 July 1999, California, USA

1st place, 15 mile open ocean row

National Adaptive Rowing Championships

11 Sept. 1999, Philadelphia, USA

1st place, 1000m single sculls

5000m Head Race

10 Oct. 1999, Long Beach, USA

1st place, adaptive rowing

Bay-to-Bay Race

4 June 2000, San Diego, USA

1st place, 5 miles physically challenged open division

International BAYADA Regatta (annual contest for rowers with disabilities)

9 Sept. 2000, Philadelphia, USA

Gold, 400m single sculls

Gold, double fixed seat sculls

Tony Mezzadri Surf Contest (named after Tony Mezzadri who suffered a spinal cord injury while surfing)

30 Sept. 2000

Most Inspirational Surfer award

Long Beach Rowing Association Christmas Regatta

3 Dec. 2000, Long Beach, USA

1st place, adaptive division

Queen Mary Open Water Row

16 Dec. 2000

1st place, adaptive fixed seat division

Long Beach Rowing Association Spring Regatta

18 March 2001, Long Beach, USA

1st place, 1000m adaptive fixed seat division

International BAYADA Regatta

8 Sept. 2001, Philadelphia, USA

2nd place, 1000m single sculls

Bay-to-Bay Race

4 June 2002, San Diego, USA

3rd place, 20 nautical miles open water race, class 3

International Rowing Federation (IRF) World Rowing Championships

Sept. 2002, Seville, Spain

Silver, adaptive single sculls TA

Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles (now the LA84 Foundation)

Feb 2003

Women Who Inspire Us award

Bay-to-Bay Race

31 May 2003, San Diego, USA

2nd place

National Veterans Wheelchair Games

July 2003, Long Beach, USA

Gold, shot put

Gold, javelin

Gold, discus

Gold, weightlifting

Silver, wheelchair basketball

IRF World Rowing Championships

August 2003, Milan, Italy

Gold, double sculls TA

International BAYADA Regatta

6 Sept. 2003, Philadelphia, USA

Silver, 1000m men’s/mixed fixed seat category

Leo Reilly jr. Award

6 Sept 2003

Award for spirit and determination

Surfboards for Spinal Cords Contest

(formerly Tony Mazzadri Surf Contest)

27 Sept. 2003, Ocean Beach, USA

1st place, surfer with a disability category

IRF World Rowing Championships

August 2004, Banyoles, Spain

Gold, double sculls TA

Surfboards for Spinal Cords Contest

25 Sept. 2004, Ocean Beach, USA

1st place, surfer with a disability category

Spring Regatta

19 March 2005

3rd place, 2000m quadruple sculls

3rd place, double sculls TA

IRF World Rowing Championships

Sept. 2005, Kaizu, Japan

Gold, double sculls TA

Paris Open Indoor Rowing Championships

11 Dec 2005, Paris, France

1st place, LTA

IRF World Rowing Championships

August 2006, Eton, UK

Gold, double sculls TA

World Records (trans-Atlantic row)

Dec. 2007-Feb 2008, from the Canary Islands to Antigua

First trans-Atlantic row (with Frank Festor) by a pair with disabilities

First trans-Atlantic row by a woman with a disability

Oldest woman to row the Atlantic

World Records (trans-Indian Ocean row – those in bold are currently recognised by Guinness World Records)

April-June 2009, from Western Australia to Mauritius

Oldest woman to row the Indian Ocean

With Helen Taylor, the first women to row the Indian Ocean

Member of the first team to row the Indian Ocean

Member of the first crew of 8 to row the Indian Ocean

First woman with a disability to row the Indian Ocean

Team to make the fastest crossing of the Indian Ocean

National Veterans Wheelchair Games

July 2009, Spokane, USA

Gold, 100m freestyle swimming

Gold, 100m breaststroke swimming

Gold, shot put

Gold, javelin

Gold, discus

World Records (as part of 2010 Virgin GB Row, classed as an ocean row – those in bold are currently recognised by Guinness World Records)

June-July 2010, around the UK mainland

Member of the only crew to finish the row

Member of the first all-female team to row around the UK

Member of the team to make the fastest unsupported row around the UK

Oldest woman to row around the UK

World Records (trans-Atlantic row – those in bold are currently recognised by Guinness World Records)

Jan.-March 2011, Morocco to Barbados

First woman to row three oceans

First woman with a disability to row three oceans

First woman with a disability to row the same ocean twice

Oldest woman to row the Atlantic (breaking her own record)

Member of the largest team to row the Atlantic (team of 16)

Member of the first catamaran to cross the Atlantic

Para-PanAmerican Games

Nov. 2011, Guadalajara, Mexico

Bronze, shot put F54-56

World Record (US Paralympic Trials)

June-July 2012, Indianapolis, USA

Shot put F56

Boiling Point Track Classic (leading Canadian open track competition for para-athletes)

14 July 2012, University of Windsor, Canada

Gold, shot put F56 (Guinness World Record)

Gold, javelin F56

Paralympic Games

Sept. 2012, London, UK

Bronze, shot put F54-56

Trans-Pacific row (abandoned)

June 2013, from Santa Cruz, USA

First woman with a disability to attempt to row the Pacific solo

World Records (trans-Pacific row - those in bold are currently recognised by Guinness World Records)

May-July 2014, Long Beach to Hawaii, USA

First female pair to row the Pacific (with Tara Remington)

First (and, to date, the only) woman to make four oceans crossings

First woman with a disability to row the Pacific

Fastest pair to row the Pacific

First (and, to date, the only) lgbt person to row four oceans

Oldest woman to row the Pacific

Foundation for Global Sports Development

17 Nov. 2014

Athletes in Excellence Award

Aquatic Capital of America Foundation

16 Jan. 2015

2014 Outstanding Achievement award

Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade

17 May 2015, Long Beach, USA

Grand Marshal

US Paralympic Track and Field National Championships

June 2015, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Gold, shot put F53-57

Silver, discus F54-57

Para-PanAmerican Games

Aug. 2015, Toronto, Canada

Gold, javelin F55/56 (Games record)

Silver, shot put F56/57

Boiling Point Track Classic

14 July 2016, University of Windsor, Canada

Gold and World Record (breaking her own 2012 record), shot put F56

Trans-Pacific Row (unfinished – the row on which she passed away)

April-June 2020, Marina del Rey, USA to mid-Pacific

Oldest woman to attempt a solo ocean crossing

First woman to attempt to row the Pacific three times

I’m sure you’re exhausted reading all those records and achievements. Guinness World Records recognized 14 records in their obituary of Angela Madsen. No doubt, there will be some achievements I haven’t yet found.

When the Tokyo Paralympic Games begin next year let’s think about Angela Madsen and Marieke Vervoort and how much they have brought to lgbt sport.