February 20th People

February 20th

02-20-1927 – 08-02-1986 Roy Cohn – Born in The Bronx, New York City, New York. He was an American attorney known for the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. He was also Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel during the McCarthy hearings. He played a major role in assisting Senator McCarthy’s crusade against Communism. During the Lavender Scare, Cohn & McCarthy attempted to enhance anti-Communist fervor in the country by claiming that Communists overseas had convinced several closeted homosexuals employed by the U.S. federal government to pass on important secrets for keeping their sexual identity secret. Convinced that the employment of of homosexuals was now a threat to national security, President Eisenhower signed an executive order on April 29, 1953, that banned homosexuals from obtaining jobs in the federal government. McCarthy and Cohn were responsible for the firing of scores of gay men from government employment, and strong-armed many opponents into silence, using rumors of their homosexuality. Former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson has written: “The so-called ‘Red Scare’ has been the main focus of most historians of that period. A lesser-known element…and one the harmed far more people was the witch-hunt McCarthy and others conducted against homosexuals.” In October 1973, Cohn became influential in Donald Trump’s life and career. Cohn showed Trump how to exploit power and instill fear through a simple formula: attack, counterattack, and never apologize. Cohn was a self-loathing homosexual that died of AIDS in 1986.

02-20-1947   Terri de la Peña – Born in Santa Monica, California, she is a fifth-generation California. Peña is a novelist and short-story writer. Her work focuses on the many cultural and social issues that Chicana lesbians face. She was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

02-20-1949 Mab (Mabelle Massey) Segrest – Born in Tuskegee, Alabama. She is an out American lesbian, feminist writer, and activist. Segrest is best known for her 1994 autobiographical book, Memoir of a Race Traitor. The book explores nine generations of her family’s history and examines her experience organizing against a vicious Far Right movement in North Carolina. It was in the 1970s that she moved to North Carolina to attend Duke University, where she earned her PhD in English literature. Segrest is recognized for speaking and writing about sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression. From 1983 to 1990, she worked with North Carolinians Against Racist and Religious Violence (NCARRV). During that time, she is credited by many for single-handedly taking down the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.

 

 

02-20-1895 – 1976 Robert Tobias “Bobbie” Andrews – Place of birth unknown. He was a British stage actor. He also briefly appeared in films. He met Ivor Novello, Welsh composer and actor, in 1916. Their relationship lasted 35 years until Novello’s death. They performed together many times in Novello’s musicals and plays.

 

 

02-20-1947 Torstein Dahle – Born in Oslo, Norway. He is a Norwegian politician and economist. He was in office from 2007 to 2010. He has been openly gay since the 1960s.

 

 

 

 

02-20-1971 Calpernia Addams – Born in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an American actress, musician, spokesperson, and activist for transgender rights and issues. She served as a Hospital Corpsman with the Navy and United States Marine Corps. During the last year in the military, she came out as a transgender woman. In 2002, she formed Deep Stealth Productions in Hollywood with transexual Andrea James. Addams and James coached Felicity Huffman for her Academy Award-nominated performance as a transgender woman in the film Transamerica. In 1999 Addams began dating PFC Barry Winchell. Word of the relationship spread at Winchell’s army base where he was harassed by fellow soldiers and ultimately murdered. Winchell’s murder trial made major news organizations and a formal review of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was ordered by President Bill Clinton. The case became a prominent example used to illustrate the failure of DADT to protect LGBT service members.

 

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