April 21st People

April 21st

04-21-1891 – 08-21-1974   Georgia Harkness – Born in Harkness, New York , a town named after her grandfather. She was a Christian theologian in the Methodist tradition. Harkness was the first woman to obtain full professorship in a U.S. theological seminary. She disliked the doctrine of original sin, saying that “the sooner it disappears, the better it is for theology.” In 1948, Harkness confronted Karl Barth on his theology of female subordination. She ended the debate quoting  Galatians 3:28,” …nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In 1956, for her work on behalf of the ordination of women in the Methodist Church, she was honored with a standing ovation when an affirmative vote permitted women full ordination rights. Harkness was committed to alleviating racism, economic disparities, sexism, and believed that same sex relationships would be accepted in the future. In 2010 the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Pacific School of Religion named an annual lectureship after her, in recognition of her advocacy of full civil rights for gay and lesbian people and honoring her thirty-three year relationship with her companion, Verna Miller.

04-21-1945 – 04-14-2017   Dr. Mark Wainberg – Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was a Canadian HIV/AIDS researcher and HIV/AIDS activist. Wainberg was the Director of the McGill University AIDS Centre at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital and Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology at McGill University. He was part of the medical team that discovered the first antiviral drug to treat patients with HIV. Wainberg was also an outspoken advocate for people with HIV and for destigmatizing those living with the disease. He had a close relationship with the gay community and understood how the disease disproportionately affected gay men. As a Modern Orthodox Jew, Wainberg’s research of HIV led him into supporting the LGBTQ community and he marched in pride parades to show his support. His son, Zev Wainberg said, “It was a way for my father to fight intolerance that was consistent with his Judaic values.” Dr. Mark Wainberg drowned in the waters off Bal Harbour, Florida at the age of 71.

04-21-1906 – 02-28-1987   Stephen Tennant – Born in Wilsford cum Lake, Wiltshire, England. He was born into British nobility, the youngest son of a Scottish peer. Known for his decadent lifestyle, he was called “the brightest” of the “Bright Young People” (this was a nickname given by the tabloid press to a group of bohemian aristocrats and socialites in 192os London). During the 1920’s and 1930s Tennant had a sexual affair with the poet Siegfried Sassoon. The affair lasted for four years and remained Tennant’s most important relationship. The character of Cedric Hampton in the novel Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford is based on Tennant. Lord Sebastian Flyte, a character in the novel Brideshead Revisited, is partly based on Tennant. He died in 1987 and had outlived most of his contemporaries. A large archive of his letter, scrapbooks, and artworks is held in The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History in London.

04-21-1914 – 06-07-2006 Muriel Inez Crawford – Born in Washington, D.C. She and her partner for almost 57 years, Anyda Marchant (pen name Sarah Aldridge) were pioneering lesbian-feminist publishers. In 1972, they co-founded Naiad Press: Muriel Inez Crafordthe premier lesbian publishing house in the U.S. throughout the 1970, 1980s, and early 1990s. They remained closeted during the terror and paranoia of the McCarthy era in Washington, D.C. In addition to the early Sarah Aldridge novels, Naiad Press began to publish romances, mysteries, and novels by other lesbian writers—authors such as Katharine V. Forrest, Renee Vivien, Valerie Taylor, and many more. Anyda Marchant died two weeks before her ninety-fifth birthday on January 11, 2006. Muriel Crawford followed five months later on June 7, 2006.

04-21-1963 John Cameron Mitchell – Born in El Paso, Texas. He is an American writer, actor, and director, best known for his films Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus, and Rabbit Hole. In 1985, Mitchell came out as gay to his family and John Cameron Mitchellfriends and in 1992, he came out publicly in a New York Times profile. He is a Radical Faerie, which was influential in his making of Shortbus. The long-running New York City monthly party, “Mattachine”, was founded by Mitchell, PJ DeBoy, Paul Dawson, and performance artists, Amber Martin and Angela De Carlo.

04-21-1970 Alice Wu – Born in San Jose, California. She is a Chinese American filmAlice Wudirector and screenwriter. Her film, Saving Face (2005), was a project that grew out of her own difficulty in coming out as a lesbian to her mother and as well as the Chinese American community.

04-21-1981 Kim Lammers – Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 2012 Olympic Athlete: Plays Field Hockey representing the Netherlands. She was part of the Dutch Kim Lammersteam that won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic’s in London. She is an out lesbian.

Leave a Reply